Across the country, an estimated 400,000 rape kits—the DNA swabs, hair, photographs, and detailed information gathered from victims of sexual assault and used as evidence for the prosecution to convict rapists—have never been tested. Testing kits can be expensive, and in many jurisdictions, a lack of funds has resulted in kits being consigned to dusty shelves, stored in abandoned police warehouses, or stowed away in forensic labs—sometimes for years. As a result, survivors may never see their rapists prosecuted, and repeat offenders continue to commit crimes.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Officials say more than 5,600 of 12,000 backlogged rape evidence kits have been tested in Memphis, leading to the identification of nearly three dozen alleged rapists.
As of Feb. 20, the Pennsylvania State Police’s Bureau of Forensic Services had evidence from 323 sexual assault and rape cases that were awaiting testing in its five regional labs. That is a far cry from the kind of backlogs reported reently in cities across the United States.
DNA collected in thousands of sexual assault cases has never been tested, sitting in evidence rooms in police departments throughout Washington, but a bill in the Legislature could start to change that.
PALM DESERT, Calif. – Some California law makers are pushing to have people who are arrested for certain misdemeanor crimes give DNA samples to police.
HOUSTON (KTRK) — Houston’s leaders celebrated a milestone Monday, as Mayor Annise Parker, District Attorney Devon Anderson along with police brass and crime lab officials heralded the official end of a backlog of rape kits, some dating back to the 1980s.
The latest update on the city’s rape kit backlog was disclosed during the Memphis City Council’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee meeting Tuesday morning.
Nearly 7,000 of the 12,374 untested rape kits discovered by the Memphis Police Department (MPD) in late 2013 and early 2014 still await laboratory analysis.
DETROIT, MI — Testing the 11,303 rape kits found forgotten in 2009 inside a Detroit Police Department warehouse is only a small part of what it will take to get justice for victims.
A public-private partnership formed earlier this month in an effort to raise $10 million over the next three years, with the goal of creating a 35-person rape-kit cold case team, including 25 investigators and 10 assistant prosecutors to do the rest of the work.
Tens of thousands of boxes containing skin, hair, bodily fluids, have sat dormant on shelves for years—boxes of evidence documenting possibly the worst night of a person’s life.
HOUSTON (KTRK) — It was a celebration at Houston City Hall in October as Mayor Annise Parker and U.S. Senator John Cornyn surrounded by police officials, praised the city’s successful effort in clearing a three-decade backlog of DNA evidence of sexual assaults that had sat untested in a police evidence room.
Texas Department of Public Safety labs are coping with an abundance of evidence testing submissions, an issue that mirrors a situation faced by federal agencies about 20 years ago. For years, law enforcement agencies relied on the Federal Bureau of Investigation for evidence testing, but as the practice of DNA analysis grew, the FBI became overwhelmed with evidence to process.
In a move being applauded by victim-advocacy groups, The Seattle Police Department will begin testing the 1,276 rape kits it has stored.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Officials say nearly 5,000 of 12,000 backlogged rape evidence kits have been tested in Memphis, leading to dozens of indictments.
The Alexandria Police Department has 122 rape kits that have not been tested for DNA evidence by crime labs — the second highest number in Louisiana — according to a report released Friday.
The state’s inability to pay experienced forensics analysts what they can make in other locales has left the West Virginia State Police crime lab short-staffed and with a 3,400-case backlog.