Rape kit lawsuit filed against city of Memphis - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Rape kit lawsuit filed against city of Memphis

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) – A rape kit lawsuit filed against the City of Memphis on Friday afternoon is meant to draw attention to the backlog of more than 12,000 kits.

The federal lawsuit is designed to help ensure a backlog of untested rape kits never happens again.

Victims believed their rape kit would be tested possibly leading to an arrest, but thousands and thousands of rape kits were not tested for more than ten years, creating a backlog of kits.

Attorney Robert Spence said, "Women have contacted my office who were victims of sexual assault and wanted to know what they could do."

This federal lawsuit filed by attorney Robert Spence is what they did.

A Memphis woman raped in 2001 filed this lawsuit as a Jane Doe in a class action suit against the city of Memphis. The lawsuit says rape victim's civil rights were violated because of the backlog of untested rape kits.

Robert Spence says he believes the man who raped Jane Doe committed multiple rapes after the woman only known as Jane Doe. Her kit was not tested.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said, "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."

Spence says that is what Jane Doe wants.

The rape kits are being tested now and the city is applying for federal and state grants to speed up the process.

Action News 5 was unable to reach the mayor for a comment on this federal lawsuit.

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