Roger Van, former owner of a floral shop on Main Street here in Wayne, was approved for parole after serving 13 years in prison for sexually assaulting and torturing a Texas man in the basement of his storefront.
Van, 69, had been convicted on several charges, including first-degree sexual assault, first-degree assault and first-degree false imprisonment, among others. Van maintained his innocence and appealed his sentence in 2004, but the request was denied.
Van stated before the board today that he had participated in the prison's "I Help" program for three years and because of that he is aware of what his risk factors are and how to deal with them.
His release was set for June 2018, but today the Nebraska Board of Parole unanimously approved Van's release. Parole conditions require him to register as a sex offender and he will be required to wear an electronic monitoring device.
Van won't be released from Community Corrections Center-Lincoln until the parole board sees his housing approval from an apartment complex that allows sex-offenders.