Where is Larry Schraenkler?

LYONS – Last month, when Richard Lester was released from state prison after the state tried unsuccessfully to civilly confine him for crimes against women, it created a firestorm in Wayne County.

Wayne County District Attorney Richard Healy is optimistic that the same will not happen when Lawrence Schraenkler faces his civil confinement hearing. Shraenkler pleaded guilty in 1994 for raping a 9-year-old girl after breaking into her parents’ Williamson home to steal a television to sell to buy crack cocaine.

Schraenkler, now 38, has reached the point in his prison sentence where he is eligible for release, but he is still being held in the Mid-State Correctional Facility in Oneida County, although he was scheduled for release on April 26. The state Attorney General’s Office is seeking to keep him civilly confined, under the state’s mental hygiene law. There was a court proceeding Oct. 18 to set a hearing on the matter in motion.

Schraenkler pleaded guilty in 1994 to seven charges, including one count each of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree kidnapping. He has been in state prison ever since, having been sentenced to 11 to 22 years in state prison. He has served two thirds of the maximum, making him eligible for release.

However, if Schraenkler is determined to still be a danger to the public under the mental hygiene law, he could be committed to a special treatment center for sex offenders, and the commitment could be indefinite. The process for that, known as an Article 10 proceeding, could also determine the level of intensity under which Schraenkler will be supervised if he is released.

Schraenkler has received the highest possible assessment as a sex offender, a level 3, deemed a high risk to commit another sex crime. He was denied parole every time he applied for it. Schraenkler had at one time spent almost three months at Central New York Psychiatric Center in Oneida County

In the unlikely event he does get out at the end of the month, he would be placed on parole until August 2015. He would also have to report his address to authorities for the rest of his life.

Louise Hoffman Broach | Wayuga Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 20 2010