Wednesday, July 1, 2009

'Wooded Rapist' to serve 32 years for first rape conviction

By Kate Howard • THE TENNESSEAN • July 1, 2009 Robert Jason Burdick, the man police believe has broken into homes and set traps for unwitting victims to methodically attack over a dozen women, will serve 32 years behind bars for his first conviction. Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Seth Norman sentenced Burdick to two consecutive 16-year prison sentences for the two counts of aggravated rape he was convicted of earlier this year. A 3-year sentence for aggravated burglary will be served concurrently. "(The victim) is very satisfied that the system worked as it should have," said prosecutor Roger Moore. "She said this morning, she would (come forward and report the rape) all over again and she knows she did the right thing." The victim testified during the trial that a masked man entered her home while she slept, and she was awakened by him standing over her. He forced the widow to disrobe, kissed her and then raped her before forcing her into the shower to wash off the evidence. But she stood away from the water until he left, and was able to preserve evidence for police that later linked Burdick to the scene. Burdick faces 11 more counts in Nashville against at least nine victims. He also faces charges in Williamson and Wilson counties.The suspect became known as the "Wooded Rapist" after police noticed the pattern of a serial rapist who struck mostly in the Forest Hills and Brentwood areas on rainy nights, at homes near wooded areas. DNA evidence matched Burdick to the string of rapes.

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