Rape kit lawsuit returns to courtroom

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Attorneys for Mid-South rape survivors will be back in court Friday after they sued the city of Memphis over thousands of untested rape kits.

The city is seeking protection from the media at several upcoming depositions as attorney Daniel Lofton is working to get the case certified as a class action lawsuit.

Lofton's clients are accusing the city of neglect in failing to test thousands of rape kits over the past 30 years.

Attorneys for the city stayed quiet outside the courtroom during the legal battle.

Retired police lieutenant Cody Wilderson testified last November in a deposition about the widespread neglect and incompetence in sex crimes investigations.

Victims like Valencia Woodin, who comes to every hearing, said the drawn out saga reopens emotional wounds. Five years after her assault, she still doesn't know if her attacker was caught.

"AA class action is the only way for this case to be handled. The city will say anything they can. They will do anything they can to prevent our success," Lofton said.

Two top brass with Memphis Police Department, deputy chief Don Crowe and MPD deputy director Mike Ryall, will be asked to testify about the investigation.

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