Attorney Robert Spence filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Memphis, Tennessee on Friday demanding that it test the backlog of approximately 12,000 rape kits in its possession.
According to Spence, victims were led to believe that their rape kits would be tested, and could aid police in apprehending the men who assaulted them. However, there is a testing backlog that stretches back almost a decade.
One Memphis woman who was raped in 2001 believes that the man who raped her may have committed more sexual assaults in the years in which her rape kit sat untested in an evidence locker.
The city is in the process of applying for state and federal aid that may help speed up the testing process, and Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong told WMC-TV, “I certainly welcome any and all legislation that we can have to put in place to hold me accountable as a director to hold my investigators accountable moving forward so we won’t have this problem again.”
According to Spence, that is precisely what the women on whose behalf he filed this suit want.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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