Attorney’s motion could put wrinkle in rape kit testing prosecution

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Rape kit testing linked former Memphis Police Officer Bridges Randle to the rape of a woman in 2000. The woman called police to her Southeast Memphis apartment following an altercation with her boyfriend, and she says after officers responded and left, Randle came back, held a gun, and raped her.

Attorney Leslie Ballin represents Randle and says charging his client all these years later is no justice. He wants the case thrown out.

"The rights of victims, the rights of defendants have been violated because of this unwarranted delay," Ballin said.

He says Randle, who was convicted of another sex crime two years later, could have been linked to this case much earlier.

"There were some similar charges. His DNA was in the database. If there had been a timely testing, then we would have been talking about this a long time ago," Ballin said.

In 2010, WREG first broke the story of the untested kits, which police initially denied.

Now after finding 12,000 untested kits, the city is getting them into the database, and the District Attorney is filing charges.

"It's all about making sure we prosecute as many of these individuals as the law in the State of Tennessee will allow us to," Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said.

The statute of limitations on rape charges is 15 years, but Ballin says it's a question of due process and his client's right to fair legal proceedings.

"I believe there would have been an indictment some 13 or 14 years ago. We could have addressed those issues timely. My client could have been put on notice as to what he was accused of back then," Ballin said.

Ballin added he's ready to take his fight to a higher court if necessary.

The District Attorney isn't saying what impact this might have moving cases forward.

Randle's case will be back in court February 24, 2015, to deal with Ballin's motion to dismiss the rape charges.

Attorneys representing other rape suspects will likely be watching what happens.

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