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Judge denies city’s motion to dismiss rape kit backlog lawsuit

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- It’s been about seven years since WREG discovered the massive rape kit backlog in Memphis. It prompted a lot of public outcry and some lawsuits.

"It's been a nightmare and I just want it over, that's all I want to do is get it over because I have to keep reliving this when I go to sleep," said rape victim Gwundolyan Tatum.

Tatum is doing what many rape victims can't: Speaking out.

She’s one of over 12,000 cases where victims didn’t get their rape kits tested and one of a handful suing the city and county for it.

“Give me some closure," she said. "That’s all I want is closure.”

On Friday, a circuit court judge denied the City of Memphis' motion to have one of the lawsuit dismissed.

The city has filed several motions to get it dropped, arguing everything from statute of limitations to immunity.

The judge's decision knocked down a huge road block for the victims trying to move forward with the lawsuit.

“This is what we’ve waited on for a very long time and the court is just saying that they’re not getting out of the case," said attorney Daniel Lofton.

The judge did grant the county's motion to dismiss, essentially saying Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich was too far removed from the allegations in this complaint.

Attorney Lofton said the county was a much smaller piece in this case.

The city and county were working on some motions together, so now that the county’s been dropped from the case, the city’s going to have to rework some of those for future hearings.

The city attorneys didn’t want to comment on the case on Friday.

The plaintiffs said the reason this case might be moving so slow is because there isn’t any clear precedent before it.