Woman files suit charging S.F. cops not investigating her rape

Heather Marlowe on Tuesday tearfully recounted being drugged and raped six years ago, during San Francisco’s famous Bay to Breakers race — a crime she says has gone unpunished in part because police officials have put her case on the back burner. […] last week, she filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city, alleging the Police Department denied her equal protection by not adequately investigating her case and failing to test her rape kit taken at a hospital. Marlowe then went to a hospital and underwent an hours-long, invasive forensic exam, where staff collected bodily fluids, blood, urine and swabs from her genitals and anus. The evidence was then compiled into what is called a rape kit for later testing by a crime lab, where scientists work to extract a rapist’s DNA to be entered in a national database. Making matters worse, she said, police demanded she go back to the scene of the crime, and while an investigator distracted the owner, she said she was asked to sneak in to see whether it was the home where the rape occurred. A San Francisco police spokesman said he could not comment on the ongoing lawsuit and referred all calls to the city attorney’s office. What’s more, the Police Department has not solved any cold cases linked to the rape kits and presented them to the district attorney since it reported clearing the backlogs, said Max Szabo, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office. While waiting, seemingly in vain, for an update on her case, Marlowe tours college campuses, performing her one-woman play, “The Haze,” that details her horrific ordeal and subsequent frustrations with the investigation.

Source: www.sfgate.com

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