6 more rape victims join class action lawsuit against Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Six more rape victims have joined the class action lawsuit against City of Memphis over the backlog of rape kits.

The Sexual Assault Task Force said progress is being made to end the backlog.

"The whole thing has been a disaster, and the city needs to stop and recognize that these victims are hurting," attorney Daniel Lofton said.

Lofton represents several rape victims still fighting for justice after more than 12,000 rape kits were left on shelves untested for years.

He said there are now more than 40 women who have joined the class action lawsuit against the city for $10 million. He said more women are still considering joining the suit.

"For each one of them, it's kind of a slap in the face to find out that hey, all this time, they've waited and they were kind of waiting for nothing," Lofton said.

City leaders and advocates said progress is being made.

"12,375 is what we started with, and of those so far, 62 percent have been to the lab," Deborah Clubb, Sexual Assault Task Force, said.

That means the city still needs to ship off 625 rape kits to a lab for testing. Clubb said police and prosecutors have been meeting every week to discuss progress on the project.

"With the DNA, police and prosecutors have been able to take 42 of these rapist to court," Clubb said.

She said they're seeing numerous convictions. For example, Jacquet Moore was convicted in December for raping a woman 17 years ago.

Lofton said he is working to try to have a hearing regarding the lawsuit sometime next month.

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