Thursday, November 7 2013 12:20 AM EST2013-11-07 05:20:04 GMT
(WMC-TV) - With a total of about 12,000 rape kits discovered by Memphis Police Department, the Shelby County District Attorney General is explaining for the first time why so many kits were not processed.More >>
Clearing the 12,113 unprocessed rape kits in the Memphis Police Department's possession will cost more than $4.6 million dollars.More >>
(WMC-TV) - Victims of rape whose evidence was not tested by the City of Memphis and Shelby County have joined forces to sue for damages.
Three rape victims filed against the city, the county, and other agencies. The lawsuit also names police director Toney Armstrong, former director Larry Godwin, District Attorney Amy Weirich, and convicted rapist Anthony Alliano among others.
Alliano's victims include the three women bringing the lawsuit, Meaghan Ybos, Madison Graves, and Rachel Johnson.
Ybos has been an outspoken advocate to get the DNA evidence collected in rape kits tested.
"This ... is top priority because it impacts public safety. If we don't test these rape kits and we don't believe victims, we let the perpetrators go free," Ybos said a week ago at a Memphis City Council meeting.
The suit claims the city, county, and its agents failed to timely submit, responsibly handle, and make due diligence on the approximately backlogged 12,000 sexual assault kits. Read the complaint here.
The suit goes further to say, "Anthony Alliano's serial assault upon numbers women in the city of Memphis and Shelby county continued for nearly a decade after the submission of rape kits on the part of Meaghan Ybos and Madison Graves."
Weirich released the following statement in regards to the lawsuit:
"Since I became DA in 2011, my office has signed off on every request by law enforcement for DNA testing on the sexual assault kits. My office aggressively and successfully prosecuted serial rapist Anthony Alliano and put this predator behind bars for 178 years. It is a travesty of justice that rape kits sat untested at the Memphis Police Department and Sheriff's Department for so many years. I too am angry at this delay in justice."
The amount of money the complainants are asking for is to be determined at trial.