Victim whose rape kit was untested in backlog tells story of being raped

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- We told you last week how the city still has over 4,000 untested rape kits to send out from the backlog WREG discovered in 2010.

These victims have not only gone through the unthinkable, but say knowing their kits haven’t been tested deepens the pain.

"It gives you nightmares for awhile. You have a lot of trouble in reacting and you know, you just don't really trust nobody anymore," said a Memphis rape victim we spoke with who asked to keep her name anonymous.

The then 35-year-old was with a friend at Memphis in May back in 1989.

"We got separated and I couldn't really remember what street we had parked on."

So she decided to walk home and was heading away from the party on Beale Street when a man emerged from nowhere.

"He snatched me from behind and he took me across the street; it was a church yard."

He raped her at gunpoint. When he was done, she ran across the street and a security guard called police. She turned to the Rape Crisis Center for help.

"They made it bearable," she said. "They were good folks."

But the road after wasn't easy. She used drugs to cope for several years before sobering up, holding onto her faith and convincing herself the man who violated her had been caught.

But then two years ago, she found out her rape kit was one of over 12,000 that had never been tested.

"When I found that out it was like, I got to start looking over my shoulders again. It makes you very tense."

Although the city has made progress with the backlog, she knows her case is past the statute of limitations. She still wants her kit tested so she knows if her attacker hurt anyone else or if he`s behind bars for a different crime.

And even more so, she wants other victims out there to know this:

"There is help and it's not your fault. Don't be weak. Get mad. Get mad. Stay strong."

The statute of limitations for when this incident happened was eight years for rape and 15 years for aggravated rape. But both of those have long since passed.

The district attorney said they're indicting samples under the name "John Doe" in the cases where they have DNA evidence but can't connect it to a person in the database. That way the statute of limitations stops in those cases, so if they do identify the suspect down the line, they have time left to pursue the case.

There is no more statute of limitations on rapes in Tennessee.