Rape-Kit Analysis Taking Months, Jailed Man Says

     ALBUQUERQUE (CN) — An inmate who was raped at the main county jail in Albuquerque eight months ago has sued the county, which still has not processed his rape kit.
     E.F. had repeatedly requested a change of cellmates, according to the Aug. 18 federal complaint against Bernalillo County, its Metropolitan Detention Center, Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III and Sgt. Manuel Baca, who was working the jail on the night of the attack.
     E.F. said his attacker had been threatening to rape him for weeks, and when he reported it to a guard, the officer””responded that E.F. needed to get over it. He said, ‘It’s jail, just deal with it.'”
     One week later, E.F. says, his cellmate drugged him with the anti-opiate Suboxone and raped him.
     That month, December 2015, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office had 472 untested rape kits, the complaint states. Yet the New Mexico Department of Public Safety Forensic Laboratory, which tests rape kits sent it by the sheriff, generally turns around tests within 30 days. Statewide that month New Mexico law enforcement agencies had more than 5,000 untested rape kits, E.F. says.
     Eight months later, the rape kit is still untested and no criminal charges have been brought against his attacker, E.F. says. He adds: “When the leaders of law enforcement fail to test rape kits they are enabling sexual predators to continue to rape.”
     He seeks punitive damages for negligence, assault and battery, negligence leading to constitutional violations, denial of access to courts, unreasonable search, and negligent maintenance of the detention center.
     He is represented by Shannon Kennedy with Kennedy, Kennedy & Ives.

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