Harvey settles lawsuits over failure to test rape kits

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HARVEY, Ill. -- A Chicago suburb whose police department mishandled years of rape investigations has settled lawsuits seeking damages for the shortcomings.

Seven women filed lawsuits in federal court against Harvey's police department and former chief Andrew Joshua, alleging the failure to submit rape kits for testing violated their constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.

In one case, an alleged lapse by Harvey police allowed a Cook County correctional officer continue to molest his stepdaughter for years. Harvey agreed to pay $1.2 million to that victim. A second case, involving two women, was settled for $241,250. The figures for a third case weren't released.

Harvey spokesman Sean Howard said in a statement Tuesday the suburb was hopeful the settlements will bring "some closure and comfort" to the victims.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.