Council convenes hearing to investigate possible mishandling of rape evidence

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City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced today that the Council will convene an emergency hearing about the possible mishandling of hundreds of city rape cases.

The announcement came after a report in The New York Times today indicated that more than 800 cases might have been wrongly handled in the Medical Examiner’s office.

The Times reported that the office is reviewing more than 800 cases where a lab technician may have mishandled or overlooked evidence.

The possible errors do not seem to point to false positives leading to wrongful convictions, according to the newspaper.

“The mishandling of rape cases is making double victims of women who have already suffered an indescribably horrific event,” Quinn said today. “We cannot allow these women to wonder if their attacker remains free or to go one more day without knowing justice was served in their case.”

At the Jan. 22 hearing, “No question will remain unanswered,” Quinn vowed. “We must do everything in our power to resolve this matter.”

The hearing will likely involve Council members from the Health Committee and the Women’s Committee, whose chairwomen expressed concern at the revelations.

“The public trusts the Medical Examiner’s office to produce accurate results, and it is shameful that over 800 rape cases could potentially have been mishandled,” Councilwoman and Women’s Committee chair Julissa Ferreras said.

Councilman and Public Safety chair Peter Vallone added, “Without the crucial evidence provided by this lab, sexual predators will be free to attack again. This is a very serious matter.”


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