(WREG-TV) Three victims of serial rapist Anthony Alliano filed a federal lawsuit against numerous parties.
Named in the lawsuit are the City of Memphis, Shelby County, the Shelby County Rape Crisis Center, the Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center, District Attorney Amy Weirich, former DA Bill Gibbons, MPD Director Toney Armstrong, former MPD director Larry Godwin, and Alliano.
The complaint alleges negligence, deprivation of the victims’ civil rights, emotional distress, breach of contract, gross negligence, violation of equal protection, and violation of due process.
The suit says, “The City of Memphis, Shelby County and its agents have failed to timely
submit, responsibly handle, and make due diligence on approximately 12,000 (an estimate of only the known untested rape kits as of this filing) sexual assault kits which is the subject of a related case and class action filed before this honorable Court.”
It continues, “each Plaintiff has suffered particularized mental anguish resulting in
physical manifestation. These damages are directly and proximately attributable to the negligent handling of the three rape kits submitted by these victims and the negligent investigations concerning the same which were carried out and specially undertaken by the City, County and its agents.”
The plaintiffs are asking for $1 million.
Alliano, who pleaded guilty to raping seven women in Shelby County, said in February he was pressured into accepting the plea deal.
In court documents WREG uncovered, Alliano claims his “plea was not voluntary because it was procured via threats and coercion” by his own attorney.
He writes he “felt as if he had no other choice but to accept a plea agreement.”
He accepted that agreement almost a year ago while his victims were in the courtroom, and the judge sentenced him to 176 years for the rapes of seven women.
Last August, plaintiff Meaghan Ybos spoke out about the importance of testing rape kits.
Her rape kit sat on a shelf, untested for nine years.
“It was a slap in the face,” Meaghan said.
When police arrested Alliano in 2012 for the rapes of other women, she called Crime Stoppers
“I said, ‘Can you please check on my case, it’s been a cold case, let’s see if it matches,’” Meaghan said “Then I found out the DNA had not been tested.”
She waited two months for her rape kit to be tested. Then came the phone call.
Meaghan was right – Alliano had raped her, too.
“It was one of the best days of my life, just because I finally had the question answered of who was this guy and I knew that he was now in a jail cell and not looking at me through my window,” she said.
She read her victim impact statement to Alliano during his sentencing.
“I was standing right next to him,” she said. “I was probably within four feet of him. And I screamed my statement at him and forced him to look me in the eye, and he did.”