City of Memphis asks for immunity in untested rape kits case

Published: Sep. 8, 2017 at 9:20 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2017 at 11:48 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Tens of thousands of rape kits went untested for years in Memphis. As dozens of victims sue City of Memphis over the issue, the city appeared in court Friday to ask for immunity.

Daniel Lofton represents dozens of people filing a class action lawsuit against City of Memphis. He said Friday's court hearing was even more delayed justice for those rape survivors.

"This is about getting the rest of the story out and getting closure for these victims," Lofton said.

During the hearing, city attorneys argued for an appeal for immunity, which means they have operational policy and are immune. The city is now asking for a second opinion in an effort to get an appeal before a trial.

The rape victims' lawyers, however, want the city to hand over its evidence.

Last week, attorneys met with a special judge, who ordered the city to explain how they have handled rape kits over the past 20 years.

"It's not the right time for an appeal," said Lofton, who knows it will take time, but agrees delayed justice does not mean justice has been denied.

Lofton wants the city to cooperate.

"We can have a trial and the matter can be resolved," he added.

There is no timeline for when the case will be back in front of a judge.

City of Memphis said "this is an on-going legal matter and the city has no comment at this time."

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Backlog testing leads to 145 rape investigations

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