BOSTON — A man serving a life sentence for strangling a woman to death with a tree branch in 1972 has been granted parole.

The Massachusetts Parole Board agreed to release 62-year-old Ralph Geary in an Aug. 3 decision that cited his young age at the time of the crime and the treatment he has received.

Geary pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 1974 after strangling 25-year-old Nancy Cote when she refused to have sex with him near a tree grove in Norton.

Parole records say Geary apologized at a January hearing and said the crime was motivated by sexual abuse he experienced as a child.

Geary will be going to Ohio and is subject to electronic monitoring and drug and alcohol tests.

His attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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