ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A rape survivor is suing the city of Albuquerque over its backlog of untested rape kits, alleging a nearly decade-long delay allowed her rapist to freely attack other women.
The Albuquerque Journal reported Sunday that the victim is asking for unspecified damages in the lawsuit, which was filed in 2nd Judicial District Court.
In the suit, the victim says Albuquerque police discriminated against women and girls by treating violent rapes as a low priority.
When asked to comment on the suit, police spokeswoman Rebecca Atkins pointed to Mayor Tim Keller signing an executive order in 2018 ordering police to make a plan for clearing the backlog.
“Today, every kit submitted for testing has been returned to the crime lab and the police department” and prosecutors, Atkins said in a written statement.
The victim gave a rape kit in 2010 after reporting being kidnapped, bound and raped at knifepoint. Her kit was not tested until 2018. The evidence linked her rape to Victor Gonzales, 44.
Gonzales was arrested in 2020 on kidnapping and two counts of criminal sexual penetration. He is scheduled to go on trial in June. He was previously charged with multiple attacks on women that occurred between 2010 and 2012.
Raymond Maestas and Sean Beherec, who are representing Gonzales, said there are discrepancies in the lawsuit.
“In this lawsuit, we see big differences in the accuser’s story from what she reported to police initially, and the jury needs to hear this change in story,” the attorneys said in a written statement.