Joyful Heart in the News

This is why thousands of Minnesota rape kits go untested

Nov. 13, 2015
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Elizabeth Mohr

The numbers might seem alarming: more than 3,000 rape kits sitting on shelves, untested, at law enforcement agencies across the state. And for more than 9 percent of those cases, the reason for not testing is "unknown."

But police are quick to explain that a reasonable explanation often exists for not testing evidence collected after a sex assault is reported: Sometimes victims do not want to move forward with a case. Sometimes the suspect's identity is not in question. Sometimes prosecutors decline to file charges.

But on the off chance that untested kits should have been tested, legislation this spring required agencies to tally their numbers and review each case.

The data, collected by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the state law enforcement agency that runs the state's largest crime lab, were released Thursday.


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