Lexington woman waits nearly 40 years for justice in 1981 rape case

Lexington woman waits nearly 40 years for justice in 1981 rape case
Sherry Wand shared her story with Lexington television station WKYT after a man was convicted of raping her more than 38 years after the crime happened. (Source: WKYT)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Nearly four decades ago, a Lexington woman was raped inside her home by a stranger.

Now, after all that time, she finally knows who it was, and he has been sentenced.

In 1981, Sherry Wand was asleep on her couch when a man broke in through her bathroom window and raped her.

Once he left, Wand said, she got in her car, went straight to the hospital and had a rape exam performed.

Finally, in 2017, Wand said she got a call from a Lexington police detective.

“He said, 'Are you Sherry Wand? And I said, ‘Yes.’ He says, ‘Were you at one time Sherry Dennis?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Are you the same Sherry Dennis that filed a police report for an attack in September of 1981?’”

Donald Burlin had been in prison for bank robbery and an attempted rape in 1982, the year after he raped Wand.

Wand’s case was the first conviction since Kentucky started looking into the rape kits backlog.

Burlin was sentenced to 20 more years for his assault on Wand.

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