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Bulloch rapist denied parole

    Parole was denied a second time for Bennie Lee Saxton Jr., a man sentenced to life for crimes including two rape incidents in Statesboro 15 years ago.
    Saxton, currently serving four life sentences for rape and kidnapping as well as several lengthy concurrent sentences for related crimes, was convicted in 1993 of raping two Statesboro women, one Aug. 9, 1992 and another Aug. 17, 1992.
    Saxton, 33, sought parole a second time recently but was denied "due to the severity of the crime," said Gail Buckner, vice chairman of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. "Our homes are supposed to be a safe haven; we should not have to worry about being violated or attacked anywhere, especially not in our homes."
    According to information provided by Scheree Lipscomb, director of the state board of pardons and paroles public affairs office, Saxton went to his first victim's Statesboro home around 11:45 p.m. Aug. 9, 1992, "pried open the window, and entered. The victim heard a loud noise and came out of the bathroom to find Saxton standing near the bedroom door."
    Saxton put a knife to the woman's throat and ordered her to undress, then raped her. That incident garnered Saxton the following sentences: burglary, 20 years; aggravated assault, 20 years; kidnaping, life; and rape, life.
    On Aug. 17, 1992, around 1:30 a.m., Saxton entered the second victim's home after cutting a window screen.  "The victim awoke to find Saxton standing at the foot of her bed holding a butcher knife," according to Lipscomb's information. "He was naked except for a pair of surgical gloves."
    Saxton raped the woman, then beat her when she fought for freedom. He "stabbed her in the neck and left her for dead."
    He stole the victim's car, but was involved in a car crash in her car a few hours later, and was captured.
    For that series of crimes Saxton was sentenced to the following: burglary, 20 years; aggravated battery, 20 years' aggravated assault, 20 years; armed robbery, 20 years; theft by taking a motor vehicle, 20 years; criminal attempt (at a failed crime), 10 years; kidnapping, life; and rape, life.
    Saxton remains incarcerated at Wilcox State Prison, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.
    Saxton was able to seek parole because Georgia statute requires all inmates serving life sentences be considered for parole, Lipscomb said. "Consideration, however, in no way implies that parole will be granted."
    Of approximately 6,000 inmates serving life sentences in Georgia, about 50 percent of their cases have been reviewed by the state parole board and denied, she said.

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