Backlog testing results in prison sentence in 1981 rape case

Posted at 4:56 PM, Sep 30, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky's SAFE Backlog Program led to a conviction and sentencing in a 38-year-old rape case in the Commonwealth.

Donald Berlin was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Friday. Berlin has been accused of breaking into the home of a sleeping 18-year-old female in 1981. He was wearing a bandanna on his face and he told the victim not to fight or he would hurt her.

Berlin forced her to the floor, raped her and left. The victim called police and was taken to Central Baptist Hospital for a Sexual Assault Nurse Examination (SANE).

The sexual assault kit was untested until 2016, when it was tested as a result of the New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY) Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination Grant Program. The Kentucky State Police Central Laboratory Branch issued the final report for prosecution in December 2018.

Berlin has been in state or federal custody since 1982 for another rape and burglary conviction, and a federal bank robbery conviction.

Judge John Reynolds ordered the 20 years to run consecutively with his federal sentence.