Will new focus on rape kit tests put thousands behind bars?

http://krqe.com/2015/05/30/will-new-focus-on-rape-kit-tests-put-thousands-behind-bars/

The evidence piled up for years, abandoned in police property rooms, warehouses and crime labs. Now, thousands of sexual assault kits are giving up their secrets — and rapists who’ve long remained free may finally face justice.

A dramatic shift is now taking hold across the country as police and prosecutors scramble to process these kits, and use DNA matches to track down predators, many of whom have attacked more women while evidence of their crimes sat in storage…

It’s too soon to know how much testing will cost. But in some cases, it’s too late for justice because statutes of limitations have expired. In others, investigators will have to dig through old files and track down suspects and rape survivors. It’s an enormously time-consuming venture…

In resurrecting old crimes, investigators have detected an alarming pattern: Many rapists are repeat offenders who might have been stopped with a timely testing of sexual assault kits. In Wayne County, home to Detroit, authorities say 288 potential serial rapists have already been found among the kits analyzed…

New financial commitments, though, will help. President Barack Obama’s 2015 budget set aside $41 million to help reduce the backlog. Another $41 million has been proposed for the 2016 budget, along with $20 million for reforms…

Rebecca Campbell, a Michigan State University professor who has consulted and trained police departments, says officers often doesn’t understand trauma. “If a victim is very calm and quiet they think there’s no possible way she could have been raped,” she says.

Campbell was chief author of a recently released multi-year study that reviewed 1,595 untested sexual assault kits in Detroit. Her research, funded by the National Institute of Justice, found evidence of “police treating victims in dehumanizing ways.” Women were often assumed to be prostitutes, the study found, and adolescents frequently perceived as concocting stories to avoid getting in trouble…

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/wheres-the-national-database-for-rape-kits/

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