On April 16th, 2015,
State Auditor Edelen launched a major initiative to count the number of
untested sexual assault kits across the Commonwealth, as well as make
recommendations for reforming how evidence in cases of sexual violence is
handled in the future.
forensic evidence (SAFE) kits contain biological evidence collected from sexual
assault victims during an investigation. Collecting these kits is invasive and
time consuming and can re-traumatize victims. The kits may contain DNA evidence
which can be used to identify an unknown suspect by comparing it against the
national DNA database, or to bolster a prosecutor’s case against a known
suspect. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to identify and convict
perpetrators of sexual violence who have been walking free, and bring justice
Cities such as
Detroit, Houston, Fort Worth and New York City have conducted similar counts,
which led to the identification and conviction of hundreds of rapists.
The Auditor’s investigation
will occur throughout the summer. In the fall, Auditor Edelen plans to announce
the results of the study, along with recommendations for reform.
Bowling Green Daily News: State must pay for assault prosecution
The Daily News – Sept. 13, 2015
Sexual assault is a heinous crime, resulting in injuries far beyond physical ones. It is a violation of a person’s humanity, the pain from which haunts victims for lifetimes.
It is the duty of a civilized society to vigorously combat sexual crimes and to apply all available means toward capturing and prosecuting perpetrators. It is disheartening, then, that Kentucky is forced to confront its shortcomings in addressing sexual assault cases, including an inadequate state crime lab, a backlog of untested rape kits and a lack of money for prosecutors to pay for expert witnesses.
Courier-Journal: Audit spurs action on LMPD rape kits
Courier-Journal – July 16, 2015
By Matthew Golwicki
In the property room of the Louisville Metro Police Department, amid piles of evidence, sit 1,073 sexual assault kits that the department isn’t sure have ever been tested.
Sexual assault evidence dating back to the 1970s sits in the room. Faded labels cling to some, while others are marked by discolored spots where seals and labels have fallen off.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, or are the family member or friend and want confidential advice and support 24/7, contact your local rape crisis center at http://www.kasap.org/