Lawrence rapist, imprisoned for brutal crimes in 1980s, again denied parole

photo by: Kansas Department of Corrections

Sherman L. Galloway, pictured in 2016

A man who attacked and raped two women on foot after dark in Lawrence in 1981 has, again, been denied parole.

After serving nearly 40 years in prison, Sherman L. Galloway, 59, will serve at least seven more.

Galloway’s next chance to be considered for parole will come in spring 2026, according to Joe Phillips, Prisoner Review Board administrator for the Kansas Department of Corrections. Phillips said in an email that after taking public comment and meeting with Galloway, the board decided last week to “pass” instead of parole him.

The Journal-World recently wrote about Galloway, who was given an indeterminate prison sentence of 30 years to life for his crimes.

One of his victims, Jean Rhea, has been fighting her rapist’s release from prison almost ever since. Rhea traveled back to Kansas from out of state for parole hearings in 1996, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2012 and 2019, plus wrote a letter against Galloway’s clemency request in 2017.

The Prisoner Review Board’s new denial cited Galloway’s history of criminal activity; the violent nature of his crimes; his denial of responsibility; and others’ objections to his release, Phillips said.

It took an additional special finding by the board to set Galloway’s next parole opportunity for more than three years away, Phillips said.

He said the board determined it’s not reasonable to expect that Galloway would be granted parole any sooner because he doesn’t have a parole plan “to meet his needs or to provide for public safety”; he has committed new crimes while incarcerated or paroled in the past; the community has been “exceedingly opposed” to his release; and he hasn’t demonstrated “behavioral insights necessary to decrease his risk to re-offend.”

In Rhea’s case, Galloway was convicted of rape and aggravated sodomy for attacking her as she jogged on the University of Kansas campus and assaulting her at knifepoint.

In the other woman’s case, which took longer due to legal challenges, Galloway was convicted in 1984 of rape, aggravated sodomy, kidnapping and aggravated battery. That woman was walking home from KU in the 900 block of Alabama Street when Galloway forced her into a car at knifepoint, drove her to a nearby park and assaulted her.

Now, instead of indeterminate sentences, Kansas sentencing guidelines for those convictions mandate a set number of months in prison based on the severity level of the crime and the defendant’s criminal history.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd