ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Curtis Brownell, who was convicted of raping and murdering Louise Betts in 1977, was denied parole Thursday.

In September of that year, Brownell kidnapped 16-year-old Betts while she hitchhiked along North Second Street in Loves Park. Brownell sexually assaulted the teenager, then left her body in a rural Boone County field, where she went undiscovered for several months.

Before his arrest in connection to the Betts case, Brownell abducted a second woman from a Rockford laundromat. The woman, who was seven months pregnant at the time of her assault, was left for dead by Brownell. Both the woman and her child survived.

Brownell was convicted of his crimes in 1978, where he was sentenced to 100 to 300 years in prison. He has been denied parole more than a dozen times. His last attempt was back in 2019.

The Winnebago and Boone County state’s attorneys were at the Illinois Parole Board hearing today to argue that Brownell should stay behind bars.

“His actions deeply offended the entire community, I can speak on behalf of Winnebago County, and in a community with high crime, like we have, we can become numb to the tragedy of violent crimes. But there are certain crimes that are so reprehensible, so unfathomable that they stop an entire community in their tracks, a collective gut punch. That makes us question the entire fabric of our society. This is such a case,” said Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley.

Brownell is eligible for parole every three to five years.