Green Hills rapist John Peltier denied parole

Green Hills rapist John Peltier denied parole (Image 1)

The Tennessee Board of Parole has voted to deny parole for John Peltier, the man known as the Green Hills rapist, for six years due to the seriousness of his crimes, spokesperson Melissa McDonald said in an email to News 2 Monday.

The decision comes following an emotional and dramatic hearing last week.

“I did not hear him say he was sorry,” said Kathleen Starnes, one of Peltier's five known victims.  Prosecutors believe there were at least three other victims.

Starnes words came after last Monday's hearing during which Peltier said via video conference that he “was not the man he was 26 or 27 years ago.”

She has long spoken publicly about the case wanting to be a voice for rape victims.

During the hearing, Starnes looked directly at Peltier on the TV screen.

He could also see her as she said, “I hope you do not consider parole for John Peltier.  I would feel very threatened for my life and life of my friends. We survivors have a lifetime of nightmares.”

Starnes was one of two victims who spoke at the hearing against Peltier's parole.

Letters from two other victims in opposition were read aloud.

Peltier, now 55, was sentenced to prison in 1989 for stalking and raping eight women inside their homes in Nashville.

Prosecutor John Zimmerman, who is still with the district attorney's office, spoke at the hearing as well, saying “terrorized” his victims, and “would have continued” had he not been stopped on a DUI charge.

Peltier broke into the women's homes in the Green Hills area then bound and gagged them before holding them hostage, sometimes for hours.

He reportedly spent time in their homes, eating their food, drinking and smoking cigarettes between attacks.

Peltier was sentenced to five life sentences with the possibility of parole, but a change in state law requires parole hearings every six years in such cases.

After spending 20 years behind bars, he was denied his first request for parole in 2008, but this time asked for his release, saying he had a support group so he could live in Knoxville.

Peltier once again admitted to five rapes while saying he spent a lot of time “driving around and looking for victims.”

Peltier's supporters who spoke at the parole hearing included a prison minister at the northeast Tennessee facility where the rapist is incarcerated, and a sex addict counselor based out of Brentwood.

The Tennessee Board of Parole won't take up Peltier's case again until April of 2020.

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