Illinois City Sued for Not Testing Hundreds of Rape Kits
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Harvey, Illinois, is being sued by a sexual assault victim who contends police officials failed to process or preserve more than 200 rape kits. The plaintiff, identified in court documents as Jane Doe, also claims police “have a history of discriminating against females” and that they “treat domestic violence abuse reports from women with less priority than other crimes not involving women reporting domestic violence abuse.”
The untested rape kits were discovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which conducted a raid of police headquarters in the town of 30,000 in January 2007. Of the untested sexual assault evidence kits, only about 50 were considered still viable for testing. The belated testing of these has led to charges against 14 individuals, including Jacques Dunbar, the man accused in the Jane Doe case.
The Harvey police department had previously been criticized for failing to solve any of the nine homicides that were committed in 2005 in the small suburb south of Chicago.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
City Accused of Conspiring Against Rape Victims (by Jack Bouboushian, Courthouse News Service)
Woman's Lawsuit Claims Harvey Failed To Test Rape Kit (by Dawn Rhodes, Chicago Tribune)
Jane Doe v. City of Harvey (U.S. District Court, Northern Illinois) (pdf)
Cook County Officer Charged In 1997 Rape (CBS-Chicago)
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