#BelieveSurvivors: Washington state has nearly 6,500 untested rape kits

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Justice moves very slowly for women in Washington state.

From MSN: More than 6,000 sexual assault kits that could potentially bring justice to thousands of rape victims in Washington state have not been tested, according to the state attorney general’s office.

In a Wednesday press release, the office of Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said it determined there was a statewide backlog of 6,460 evidence kits after collecting inventory information from 208 law enforcement agencies in the state. Many of the kits have been in storage for years, with the oldest untested kit dating back to 1982.

The medical evidence kits contain biological samples collected from people who reported that they were assaulted. Authorities booked the kits into evidence but never submitted them to a crime lab for a DNA analysis.

Sexual assault survivors deserve justice,” Ferguson said. “Each sexual assault kit tells a story from a survivor that must be heard.”

(Well, they eventually might see justice.)

Washington state is among numerous other places where untested sexual assault kits have piled up. End The Backlog, a nonprofit organization that aims to address the issue, estimates there are hundreds of thousands of untested kits in storage facilities across the country.

Ferguson has been working to address the problem in his state. Late last year, his office received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to deal with the backlog. Since then, the office has received roughly $750,000, or one-quarter of the grant money, to conduct an inventory of the untested kits. The state legislature has also dedicated funding to the backlog.

The attorney general reported two types of rape kit backlogs. The first is the “unsubmitted” sexual assault kit backlog, which consists of kits that sit in evidence storage facilities because DNA analysis was never requested.

The second type of backlog occurs in crime lab facilities and involves “backlogged” sexual assault kits that have been submitted and are awaiting testing.

The kits could contain DNA from suspects who could be identified through the FBI’S national DNA database system. The central repository of DNA information contains biological evidence not only from sex offenders, but also from individuals arrested or convicted of federal offenses or other qualifying crimes, which vary by state.

The Seattle Times reported that King County prosecutors demonstrated the value of testing old rape kits on Monday, when they charged 53-year-old Darin Lamont Bolar in the sexual assault of a teenager in Seattle more than a decade ago.

The victim’s rape kit, which contained evidence collected in 2007, was not tested until last December. Between 2007 and now, prosecutors said, Bolar was able to commit additional “violent and sexually aggressive crimes,” according to the Times.

With backlogged rape kits now inventoried, Ferguson said his office will request the remainder of the federal grant money to pay for testing. Once the kits are tested, authorities can use DNA evidence to reopen cases, he said.

Testing the kits could “identify serial rapists, link cases across the country, provide critical links that could solve homicide cases and provide answers to victims and their families,” the attorney general’s office said.


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19 responses to “#BelieveSurvivors: Washington state has nearly 6,500 untested rape kits

  1. Is there no statute of limitations on sexual assault and rape? I don’t know if going back decades to solve these kinds of crimes is all that wise. Considering what we have witnessed lately, with women making all kinds of false claims against men, just because there’s dna available to match someone to, doesn’t mean it wasn’t consensual. And considering how much we have been lied to by the FBI, etal., I don’t believe their claims about dna being absolute proof that someone committed a crime. I don’t trust them anymore!

    • That’s an interesting question. One could take the position that, if the statute of limitations had run out there was no point in testing. On the other hand, the technology improves every day and that doesn’t seem appropriate.

      What I see with most cases is, if nobody comes in and rats somebody out, it doesn’t get solved. All those TV shows may be interesting, but there is a reason why there are a relative few “solved” cases that keep getting repeated. There is NO shortage of unsolved cases.

      Most of the time they use the forensic stuff to bolster their case in court AFTER somebody has led them to the perpetrator. There is some hope with the new data bases, but the fingerprint one “APIS” (sp?), hasn’t returned a groundswell exactly and its been around a while.

      The truth is, cops want to “clear” cases, not solve them. If they can get the DA to indict a sandwich, they’ll do it. Then its “next”.

      It seems that they would need to assign dedicated people to scanning these things regularly. In addition, I don’t know what the legal precedent looks like for limitations in light of new technology. I suspect that if there were enough interest and negative publicity thrown at it, they might improve.

      • You’re comment so excellent and so completely reflects my own thinking and feelings that I will not bother to add one but only back you 150%.

        When I was assaulted at age 19 under the influence of a date rape drug without my consent or knowledge, I would’ve gladly welcomed such a kit if it had been available in 1963. As it was, I’m just glad that I was strong enough to fend the SOB off and get the Hell out of there.

        • Thank you, Joseph.

          • I apologise for my poor syntax and sentence structure, as it may have confused readers. It was very early in the morning and I was still somewhat sleepy from taking melatonin 10 mg. It SHOULD have read as:
            “Your comment is so excellent and so completely reflects my own thinking & feelings that I will not bother to add one, but I back you 150%.”

  2. “Many of the kits have been in storage for years, with the oldest untested kit dating back to 1982.”

    That’s unconscionable.

    So much for Demonrats’ supposed caring about women.

    • Yes it it, but absolutely normal. I’m afraid people have very unrealistic ideas about law enforcement and the justice system entirely. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be for victims. It’s also no wonder why there are so many rapes. Of course, they say that rape is a crime of hate, not lust, but I think that’s too simplistic.

      People try to put too much in one shoe.

      • “People try to put too much in one shoe.”
        That’s great! I wish I’d written it, but I won’t crib and will give you full credit in future.

  3. Yes the solution is to take DNA from every male not just those who have committed a crime and have provided DNA. It could be done at birth and be a record for life. If they left their DNA behind in any crime you would know exactly who did it. That is what we want!

    • That is not what I want.

      Your DNA can be used against you, too. Blindly trusting the government with your personal info is not what I would advocate.

      • I’m also not entirely certain it is as accurate as they would like you to believe. Also, it can be easily cross-contaminated. I think its fine if handled correctly and if we can trust the science. I certainly would not want people to basically have to prove they’re innocent.

      • Ditto from me, as this is a double-edged sword, thus gubbmint can NEVER be trusted to Do the Right Thing at ANY time. As Hegel astutely pointed out 200+ years ago, the State ALWAYS acts to perserve and strengthen itself, even at the expense of those who create and support it. NEVER forget that: it’s all we have to act upon in our long-term best interests.

  4. Who knows how many of those rapes have ended in suicide or homicide. Shameful!!!

    • I would be afraid to know. The fact is that they take “rape kits” from victims. Most are never seen again. If (and its a BIG IF), they have a serial rapist and are looking at bolstering their case they may bother to test it. This is for THEIR convenience, not the victim’s.

      It’s really sad. We spend a HUGE amount of our tax dollars for law enforcement and the judicial system. They don’t concentrate on many real crimes. The DA focuses on whatever he or she thinks will get them reelected. The cops focus on whatever is the easiest clearance for a case and what crimes bring fees and notoriety for the DA.

      For the average rape victim, unless they trip over the perpetrator and injure themselves their odds of their assailant being caught are pretty slim. I’m afraid my advise for this is the same for other crime. Learn to take care of it yourself and let your lawyer call the cops.

  5. Meanwhile, Claire McCaskill caught lyin’ as a campaign strategy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Doh0d78lin4

  6. Meanwhile in VA they’ve been testing rape kits and other dna and found several people wrongly convicted that had been in jail for decades. It goes both ways. Our justice system is as perfect as the people that operate within it. The best we can hope for is to identify errors, make corrections and endevor not to repeat the same mistakes.

  7. What will the mentally ill Liberals and America hating Bolsheviks do when Trump picks Amy Coney Barrett as his next Supreme Court nominee?

    Amy Coney Barrett, the Trump Supreme Court Pick Who’ll Troll Liberals the Hardest


  8. They are too busy giving free sh*t to illegals and druggies.

  9. Very significant since Alaska’s population is just over 700,000 and has the highest rate of rape and sexual abuse.
    April 27, 2018, at 10:35 a.m.
    Alaska Hires Retired Trooper to Help Clear Rape Kit Backlog
    FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Alaska has hired a sexual-assault investigator to assist in reducing the state’s backlog of nearly 3,500 untested rape kits.


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