The convicted rapist and kidnapper who removed a parole monitoring device in Skaneateles last month is back in state prison.
Christopher Block entered a guilty plea to violating the conditions of his prior release during a parole revocation hearing held at the Onondaga County Justice Center on Aug 6. On Tuesday, he was transferred to Elmira Correctional Facility to begin his new prison sentence, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision website.
DOCCS officials did not disclose the agreed-upon terms of Block's new sentence at the time of his guilty plea, which was made during a hearing that was closed to the public. The agency would only say that "the disposition is not final until a written decision is issued by the Administrative Law Judge."
The Citizen requested that decision from the DOCCS communication office on Tuesday and was told on Wednesday to file a Freedom of Information Law request, which it did. The paper has not received the requested information as of Wednesday afternoon.
Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway had held a press conference following Block's guilty plea in order to inform the public of what occurred during the revocation hearing, he said. Conway said Block told the administrative judge that his escape had nothing to do with any intention of harming anyone. Rather, Block was attempting to evade a gang from Syracuse, where he was living, that he said was wrongfully targeting him for something involving his roommate, another parolee, Conway said.
Conway declined to name the gang, saying he prefers not to give them added notoriety, but said it was one familiar to him, which added credibility to Block's claim.
Block was captured on July 12 near Skaneateles Country Club after he had removed his monitoring bracelet the night of July 10 not far from where he was found.
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According to Conway, Block said he fled to Skaneateles because he is from the Camillus area and is familiar with the wooded surroundings.
A convicted rapist who removed a parole monitoring device was captured in Skaneateles Friday.
DOCCS came under fire from some in the central New York law enforcement community for waiting almost a full day before issuing any statement to the public about the search for Block, whom the agency described as "dangerous." DOCCS defended its communication strategy, saying it did not want to cause panic or drive Block into deeper hiding.
Shortly after Block was recaptured, Conway expressed disappointment with the lack of communication from DOCCS during the search, both with the public and his department. Cayuga County Sheriff Brian Schenck expressed a sentiment similar to Conway in a Facebook post that day.
Block was convicted in 1984 on numerous charges, including two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of second-degree kidnapping. He was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison, according to DOCCS.
Block has returned to prison for the second time since his initial release.
Block was denied parole before being conditionally released by statute in May 2017. He returned to prison in November 2017 for an unspecified violation of his conditional parole and was ordered to remain in prison until his December 2018 release.