Attorney demands more evidence in untested rape kits, judge appoints special counsel

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - City of Memphis appeared back in court Tuesday over untested rape kits.

Attorneys filing the lawsuit against the city demanded more records showing why the kits were left untested for years.

Both sides walked away Tuesday with wins and losses as the lawsuit continues. But, for some rape victims, there are still questions left unanswered.

"I wanted to know who dropped the ball. I want to know how they could have let this happen, not just for me, for all of the women who haven't been tested," said Lauriann Naylor, a rape victim who went to Circuit Court on Tuesday to fight for justice.

Naylor said she was raped in 2000, but her rape kit was not tested by Memphis Police Department until 2014. She said she's reliving the alleged crime all over again.

"I called twice and never heard another word for 14 years until the detectives are knocking on my door going, 'Oh, we tested your kit finally,'" she said.

The backlog of more than 12,000 untested rape kits was discovered in 2013. MPD expects to have them all tested this year.

Attorney Daniel Lofton represents approximately 50 plaintiffs suing the city. He told Judge Gina Higgins the city is not cooperating with evidence requests. But, that's an allegation the city's attorneys denied and said the kind of evidence Lofton is looking for is too broad.

Judge Higgins appointed a special counsel to rule on an appropriate scope of evidence and dealt the city a blow by saying MPD Major Don Crowe could be deposed.

"We have ex-police officers who are ready to testify," Lofton said.

He said he wants to know what MPD brass and investigators knew about the untested kits.

"It's about getting the city to tell the rest of the story, getting them to turn over the documents, just explain themselves," Lofton said.

Judge Higgins told attorneys they need to start thinking about setting a trial date.

Attorneys for the city declined to comment after the proceeding.

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