Target: Kamala D. Harris, California Attorney General
Goal: Process evidence from alleged rape in 2010 and pursue charges as necessary.
A woman has been waiting six years for charges to be set against her alleged rapist. Heather Marlowe is still unable to obtain closure or justice for the alleged crime because police have yet to confirm that the rape kit evidence that was taken at the hospital at the time of her rape in 2010 has been processed.
To further her cause, she has now filed suit in federal court claiming that San Francisco officials and police violated the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution because the failure to process rape kits in a timely fashion effectively discriminates against women on the sole basis of gender.
Adding insult to injury, the SFPD found a suspect, collected his DNA, and also failed to process that or to see if it matched the evidence collected in the rape kit. Police currently claim the kit has been processed, but have failed to provide Heather with the results or other evidence that this is true.
Demand police produce this evidence, implement procedures to prevent such lapses in the future, and that appropriate action is taken to punish officers and others involved in the processing delay.
Dear Ms. Harris,
For a woman who’s been raped or sexually assaulted, the process of collecting rape kit evidence can be nearly as violating. Typically, women submit to this process because they trust it will help find and bring their rapist to justice. For Heather Marlowe, this appears not to have been the case.
Instead, the rape kit evidence languished for more than half a decade and was not compared with a potential suspect’s DNA. Although the SFPD indicates that the kit was processed late last year, they have yet to provide Heather with the results or other evidence that it was actually done.
We demand this evidence is produced and that independent advisors and investigators work with the SFPD to implement measures to prevent such blunders in the future and that appropriate legal and civil action is taken against the officer(s) involved in this system failure.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Christoph Bock