Rape victims of lawsuit: It's harder to dehumanize us - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Rape victims of lawsuit: It's harder to dehumanize us when we're right here

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"We described the exact same MO [method of operation] to law enforcement, and we both consented to forensic examination," said Meaghan Ybos. "We described the exact same MO [method of operation] to law enforcement, and we both consented to forensic examination," said Meaghan Ybos.
"I just wanted to be the shining light for other girls that are scared to come forward. I just wanted to show them that there are other people out there, they're not the only ones," said May 21, 2003 victim Madison Graves. "I just wanted to be the shining light for other girls that are scared to come forward. I just wanted to show them that there are other people out there, they're not the only ones," said May 21, 2003 victim Madison Graves.
Both of the women were victims of Anthony Alliano, who was recently arrested, convicted, and sentenced after their rape kits were tested. Both of the women were victims of Anthony Alliano, who was recently arrested, convicted, and sentenced after their rape kits were tested.

(WMC-TV) - Three victims filed a lawsuit against City Memphis, its police department, Shelby County, and many others; two of the victims in the suit want to be heard.

The victims courageously chose to use their names and show their faces Wednesday because they want their stories heard, want to hold law enforcement officials accountable, and prevent similar crimes from happening again.

"I just wanted to be the shining light for other girls that are scared to come forward. I just wanted to show them that there are other people out there, they're not the only ones," said May 21, 2003 victim Madison Graves.

Graves and Meaghan Ybos were sexually assaulted two days apart.

"We described the exact same MO [method of operation] to law enforcement, and we both consented to forensic examination," she said. "We feel that having put our faces and names on this, is going to make it, it's going to help the public understand."

Graves was 12 years old and Ybos was 16 years old when assaulted.

"I hope that they'll start doing things differently. If this happens to another 12-year-old girl or 16-year-old girl, that her kit will be tested, and he will be found, and he won't have the chance to tag on seven other females to his list," said Graves.

The women waited more than 10 years to hear about an arrest, only to find out that their kits had not been tested.

"It made me sick to know that my kit just sat there forever and that this all could have been avoided, everybody that was after us," said Ybos. "[Graves] was number one, I was number two. Everybody that was after us could have been avoided had they taken care of it."

Both of the women were victims of Anthony Alliano, who was recently arrested, convicted, and sentenced after their rape kits were tested.

"We want to know how this happened. We see that efforts are being made to fix the problem, but you can't meaningfully fix any problem unless you know how it happened," said Ybos. "It's harder to dehumanize us and discredit us when we're right here. We're using our names, we're right here. We're victims of a serial rapist. We've been told that we look alike, that were attacked under the same MO and regardless of that, we're here today, years later asking some of these questions."

Alliano was arrested and sentenced to 178 years in prison. An attorney says this lawsuit will have several phases, but a court date has not yet been set.

The suit claims the city, county, and its agents failed to timely submit, responsibly handle, and make due diligence on the approximately backlogged 12,000 sexual assault kits. Read the complaint here.

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