HOUSTON — A federal judge has dismissed a 2011 rape kit by two local women claiming their constitutional rights had been violated because the testing of evidence from their sexual assaults had not been conducted in a timely fashion.
U.S. District Judge Venessa Gilmore said the plaintiffs filed their lawsuit about six years too late. The judge also ruled Houston's last six mayors are not responsible either.
Gilmore said the plaintiffs did not prove their rights were violated nor did they raise any other legal grounds to hold Houston city officials responsible.
Annise Parker, who preceded Mayor Sylvester Turner, and her administration removed the city crime lab from the Houston Police Department and established the independent Houston Forensic Science Center to provide accurate and timely analysis of forensic evidence, including the sexual assault kits and related services.
Turner issued the following statement in response to the court decision:
"The administration is pleased with the dismissal of the lawsuit. We recognize the importance of timely and appropriate processing of evidence and the critical role that it plays in solving crimes and prosecuting perpetrators before they can victimize others. The great work of the Forensic Center helps us carry out the central mission of protecting the safety of all Houstonians."