Rape Victim Blinded In Heinous Assault Fights To Keep Attacker Behind Bars - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Justice: Rape Victim Blinded In Heinous Assault Fights To Keep Attacker Behind Bars

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(WOIO) - A rape victim who was permanently blinded by a knife-wielding rapist is fighting to keep her attacker where he belongs - in prison.

Phyllis Cottle was savagely beaten, raped and left for dead in a burning car in the 1984 attack.

Now, the animal responsible for the attack wants out to prison. Samuel J. Herring is slated to receive an advanced parole hearing this September despite being slapped with a prison sentence of 169-300 years.

The advanced parole hearing comes as a result of a lawsuit commonly referred to as the "Ankrom Decision." According to a press release from the Ohio Public Defender, the Ankrom Decision came about because:

"The trial court's sentence establishes the minimum sentence and, consequently, the date of statutory eligibility, (the American Parole Authority)'s denial of meaningful consideration at the time of initial parole eligibility effectively disregards the trial court's sentence...the APA's wide-ranging authority and discretion over parole matters must yield when they run afoul of statutory enactments and contractual law. The same must hold true when the APA's authority and discretion run afoul of the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers."

Cottle is now 70-years-old and living in Cuyahoga Falls. She plans to travel to Columbus in September so she can attend the parole hearing.

This isn't the first time Herring has sought an early release. He made another unsuccessful bid for freedom in 1994.

If you would like to write the parole board, you may do so:

Ohio State Parole Board
770 W. Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43222

Samuel J. Herring
Inmate #A180009

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