updated 1/15/2004 1:14:45 PM ET 2004-01-15T18:14:45

Joel Steinberg, the disbarred lawyer imprisoned for the 1987 beating death of his illegally adopted daughter, was denied parole Thursday for the fifth time.

A parole board decision said Steinberg failed to understand his actions when he delayed calling for medical help after beating 6-year-old Lisa.

“We find quite compelling your inexplicable disregard for your victim, that little girl, that evening,” the decision by the three-member panel said.

The panel interviewed Steinberg on Wednesday.

Steinberg, 62, is serving 8-1/3 to 25 years at the Southport Correctional Facility for first-degree manslaughter. He is tentatively scheduled to be released June 30 after completing two-thirds of his maximum sentence.

The case put a national spotlight on domestic violence and the question of who should report cases of suspected child abuse.

Daughter was illegally adopted
In 1987, Steinberg was accused of fatally beating Lisa, whom he had taken as a days-old infant from an unwed teenager. He was supposed to arrange an adoption, but instead took the baby home to his live-in companion, Hedda Nussbaum.

Lisa was found unconscious in Steinberg’s Greenwich Village apartment and later died at a hospital. Steinberg did not seek medical attention for Lisa until 12 hours after she fell unconscious and Nussbaum also failed to seek help.

Nussbaum was granted immunity in exchange for her testimony. At Steinberg’s trial, Nussbaum testified that Steinberg beat her and abused Lisa and another illegally adopted child.

Nussbaum told jurors she and Steinberg used cocaine while Lisa lay naked on the bathroom floor, slowly dying. Steinberg was acquitted of murder.

He was denied parole in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002.

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