Houston Rape Victims Appeal Case To US Supreme Court

Barbara Schwarz
January 17, 2020 - 6:09 am
Texas Courtroom

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HOUSTON (1080 KRLD) - Two Houston rape victims have appealed their federal civil rights class action lawsuit against the City of Houston and it's officials to the highest court in the land. 

Both women were sexually assaulted in 2011 by the same man, David Lee Cooper, who is now serving life following a conviction in 2016 for sexually assaulting a minor.  

The victim's rape kits were among 6,000 in Houston they say went untested for years. 

The suit says that as early as 1991 Cooper's DNA profile was in the national DNA database-CODIS (Combined DNA-Index System) when he was accused of sexual assault of a Houston woman, so had the kits been tested, these women may never have been attacked. 

Their attorney Randall Kallinen says a federal trial and appellate court "Really put the onus on the victims to go out and try to save themselves.  They said you should have realized the police weren't doing this and it was up to you to do something about it."

He says the police should have been honest and told the women the kits weren't going to be tested, at least anytime soon. 

"The lower Courts have put the burden on these lower income minority victims to know that HPD took the DNA evidence from 1000s of rape victims and did nothing with them." said civil rights lawyer Randall Kallinen, "This is too high a burden and affects too many rape victims to stand."

He says the city had the victims information and never contacted them to tell them there was a testing backlog.