Media Archive by Topic: rape kit backlog

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Mass. House approves proposal to create tracking system for untested rape kits and evaluate backlog
November 15, 2017 • MassLive
Scott J. Croteau

The Massachusetts House of Representatives approved a proposal to overhaul the state's policy for tracking and testing rape kits.

The proposal was adopted as an amendment to the criminal justice reform bill passed Tuesday night. House Minority Leader Bradley Jones Jr. proposed the amendment, which calls for the creation of a rape kit tracking system with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

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Memphis has largest backlog of untested rape kits in US
February 12, 2014 • WLOX 13
Kontji Anthony
Memphis has the largest known number of untested rape kits in the country. It is why the City of Memphis held a news conference Wednesday morning to announce several developments regarding the city's rape kit backlog. read more
Memphis Police official says rape kit backlog is shrinking
July 15, 2014 • The Commercial Appeal
Daniel Connolly
As of June, 1,185 previously untested kits have been tested. An additional 2,495 kits remained at forensic labs, and 5,553 remained untested. read more
Metro Changes Rape Kit Policy After Finding Nearly 100 Unprocessed In Past Ten Years
August 26, 2015 • WSAV3
Sheila Parker

There are estimates that as many as 400-thousand rape kits in the United States are gathering dust on police evidence shelves – going untested. The issue has caused outrage and led to some reforms at local, state and federal levels. We wanted to find out what the status was here. News 3 has been looking into the problem for months .


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Miami PD to begin work on state’s largest backlog of untested rape kits
January 4, 2016 • Miami Herald
David Smiley

An effort to identify and process every untested rape kit in Florida has found that more than 3,700 exist in Miami-Dade County, including 2,243 held by Miami police alone — the most of any law enforcement agency in the state.

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Millions Earmarked to Clear 'Disturbing' Rape Kit Backlog
September 10, 2015 • NBC News
Kate Snow, Rich McHugh and Tracy Connor
New effort underway to clear rape kit backlog. read more
Missouri rape kit audit set to be done in early 2018
November 27, 2017 • Associated Press
Associated Press

The Missouri Attorney General's Office says it hopes to determine by early next year how many untested rape kits are on shelves in Missouri, a first step in an effort to improve the state's response to sexual assault.

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Money to Address Rape Kit Backlog in Congressional Spending Bill
Dec. 10, 2014 • BuzzFeed
Alison Vingiano
Advocates praised the inclusion of $41 million to handle thousands of untested rape kits. read more
More than 40 police agencies to get $79M to test rape kits
September 11, 2015 • USA Today
Steve Reilly and Charisse Jones
A USA TODAY/TEGNA joint investigation finds thousands of untested rape kits sitting in police department evidence rooms across the country. Rape victims, politicians and police are speaking out, hoping to change that. read more
Natasha's Justice Project, Stony Brook University To Study Rape Kit Backlog
September 16th, 2011 • The Huffington Post
Frank Eltman
A recently formed organization that contends there is a nationwide backlog of untested rape kits told The Associated Press on Monday that it was teaming with a New York university to try to figure out how many are sitting on police department shelves as a first step in clearing the logjam. read more
National Rape Kit Backlog Gets a $35 Million Boost
Dec. 9, 2014 • Epoch Times
Genevieve Belmaker
The massive national backlog of rape kits is being targeted by Manhattan’s district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr. According to Vance, there is a backlog of “hundreds of thousands of rape kits” across the country in police warehouses. read more
Nearly $80 Million Will Be Used to Finally Test Thousands of Rape Kits
September 10, 2015 • Jezebel
Anna Merlin

Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Loretta Lynch were in New York Thursday to announce that the White House has awarded $41 million in new rape kit testing grants to police departments across the country, added to the $38 million in grant money that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance already contributed. That $79 million will be used to test 70,000 backlogged rape kits across the country. Finally.


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Nevada lawmakers allocate funds to test rape kits
December 17, 2015 • Reno Gazette-Journal
Ken Ritter

LAS VEGAS – Nevada lawmakers have agreed to allocate almost $3.7 million to test 7,500 sexual assault evidence kits languishing in police vaults around the state, including some in Las Vegas dating back 30 years.

State Attorney General Adam Laxalt told the legislature’s Interim Finance Committee on Wednesday the state is just getting started digging through the backlog.

The money includes $1.7 million from a settlement this summer with JPMorgan Chase in a debt collection practices case toward the rape kit effort.


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New celebrity PSAs address myth, societal attitudes that confront male survivors of childhood sexual abuse
March 7, 2016 • Honolulu Star Advertiser
Sophie Cocke

Joyful Heart and 1in6 are proud to share a new series in Joyful Heart’s groundbreaking, celebrity-driven NO MORE PSA campaign to address the myths and excuses surrounding males who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, and to invite male survivors to seek help at The PSAs were created in partnership with Viacom, directed by Joyful Heart’s Founder & President, actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay, developed in partnership with Y&R, Executive Creative Director/Writer, Rachel Howald, and photographed by world-renowned celebrity photographer Timothy White.

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New Mexico Audit Finds 5,411 Untested Rape Kits
January 7, 2016 • Public News Service

SANTA FE, N.M. – Victims' rights advocates are hoping New Mexico officials take steps during the upcoming legislative session to deal with the state's backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits, or rape kits.

A state audit discovered more than 5,400 kits still sitting in police evidence lockers around the state. 


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New national funding will clear Utah’s backlog of untested rape kits
September 10, 2015 • The Salt Lake Tribune
The Associated Press
White House, NYC prosecutor pledge $79M to test the kits nationwide. read more
New National Initiative on Rape Kits
May 21st, 2010 • CBS Evening News
Armen Keteyian
Almost a year ago, CBS News broadcast a two part series on a five month investigation into tens of thousands of untested rape kits nationwide. read more
No Longer Ignored, Evidence Solves Rape Cases Years Later
August 2, 2014 • The New York Times
Erik Eckholm
Like hundreds of thousands of other rape kits across the country containing evidence gathered from victims, that of Ms. Ybos lay untested for years on a storeroom shelf. read more
No urgency in testing rape kits amounts to no respect for victims
January 5, 2016 • Miami Herald
Fabiola Santiago

Where’s the urgency, the respect for rape victims?

On Tuesday afternoon, a day after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement released a report revealing the high number of rape-evidence kits that sit untested for DNA in police storage facilities, the police agency with the highest number of them remained mum.

Still working on trying to get information, a spokesman of the Miami-Dade County Police Department told the Miami Herald.

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Ohio Supreme Court reverses decision in Cleveland rape kit case that drew national attention
July 27, 2016 •
Rachel Dissell

CLEVELAND, Ohio –The Ohio Supreme Court today unanimously reversed the decision of a Cleveland appeals court in a rape kit case being watched across the country.

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Ohio tests 10,000 rape kits to clear backlogs, hundreds indicted
February 18, 2016 • Reuters
Kim Palmer

An effort Ohio launched about five years ago to manage its backlog of rape kits has resulted in more than 10,000 tests to recover physical evidence and led to at least 445 indictments, the state Attorney General's office said on Thursday.

"This is a tremendous milestone," Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. "The testing of these 10,000 kits has helped identify hundreds of alleged assailants, many of whom repeatedly committed violent attacks."


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June 3, 2013 • The Huffington Post
Mariska Hargitay and Kym Worthy
Despite the progress we as a nation have made in the movement to end sexual violence, including the recent passage of a more inclusive Violence Against Women Act, much work remains to be done. read more
Private film screening highlights problem of unexamined sexual assault kits
October 24, 2017 • WIBW News
WIBW News Now

Following the I AM EVIDENCE screening, Wayne County, Michigan Prosecutor Kym Worthy facilitated a discussion about the value of testing sexual assault kit evidence and establishing a victim-centered approach to sexual assault response.

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Rape is the only crime where the victim is treated like a suspect, investigator says
February 19, 2018 • Fox News 29 San Antonio
Yami Virgin

Texas Chief Investigator and Sexual Assault Investigation Trainer, Wayne Springer, says an officer’s job is to collect and send the facts, not pass judgment. “This is the only crime you'll ever see that the victim becomes the accused almost instantly,” Springer explains.

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Rape Kit Contribution Should Spur Congressional Action
Nov. 16, 2014 • The Washington Post
Editorial Board
Under the program announced in New York, $35 million in civil forfeiture assets will be made available to localities and states across the country to test some 70,000 rape kits, which are a collection of physical evidence painstakingly taken from victims of sexual assault. read more