Lawsuit Filed Against Memphis Because of 12,000 Untested Rape Kits

Attorney Robert Spence    

Rape victims in Memphis, Tenn., expected the city to help bring them justice, but some of them have been waiting more than 10 years. Now they're taking matters into their own hands, and they've enlisted the services of a local attorney, Robert Spence.

According to WMC-TV 5 News, Spence is the lead attorney in a federal class action lawsuit filed against Memphis last Friday for what he says is the city's neglect of more than 12,000 rape kits.

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

A woman who was raped in 2001 and filed the lawsuit as Jane Doe says in the lawsuit that her civil rights were violated because her test is included in the backlog. Spence believes that the man who raped Jane Doe was able to rape others after her.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong says he welcomes the lawsuit and hopes that this will bring about change to the current system. For now, the city is applying state and federal grants to help speed up the testing process.

Read more at WMC-TV 5 News.

Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.

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