After 41 years, rape victim fights to keep attacker in prison

(WBIR) After more than 40 years, the victim of a high-profile rape case faced her attacker Monday.

Noah Lundy was convicted for raping Sharon Taylor of Knoxville in March 1973. Since then Lundy has been serving a 135-year sentence in a state prison near Nashville.

His fifth parole hearing was held Monday via video conference. Taylor testified she still deals with pain he caused her.

"I'm fine until I hear he's going to be up for parole. Then I start having the panic attacks and nightmares and everything. Having to relive that night I'll never forget," Taylor said.

In the 1970s, the maximum someone could serve time for a rape charge was 120 years, but Taylor said the judge "wanted to make an example out of him (Lundy)."

MORE: Rape victim still deals with court 41 years later

Lundy could get parole after serving a minimum 30 percent of his sentence, according to the old Tennessee statutes. Those rules changed in the 1980s; now a convicted rapist can only be sentenced to a maximum of 60 years and must complete a minimum of 85 percent before parole consideration.

Taylor said the most difficult part of the hearing is seeing Lundy's face again. Even though the hearing is held through video streaming, she says it brings back all of the feelings she's worked through over the years.

Lundy has served not even served half of his sentence. Taylor asked the board to keep him in jail for his entire sentence.

"I'm positive in my heart and I feel it in my gut that he would do something else to somebody else or worse than he did to me," Taylor said.

One of the seven parole officers voted against letting Lundy out on parole. The board must have four votes, either yes or no, to make a decision. If the board decides not to release Lundy on parole, he won't be eligible for parole again until April 2020.

The final decision could take up to two weeks.

Editor's note: 10News typically doesn't reveal a rape victim's identity, but the victim came forward to WBIR, wanting to talk publicly about her case.


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