Untouched, Thousands Of Rape Kits Await Justice | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Untouched, Thousands Of Rape Kits Await Justice

Play associated audio

In 2009, prosecutors in Detroit discovered more than 11,000 boxes of potential evidence in rape cases left completely unprocessed. Row upon row of what are called "rape kits" remained untouched on shelves in a police evidence room for years. No DNA evidence was extracted; no DNA evidence was used to catch or prosecute the assailants.

Since then, Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy has lead the effort to sort through those 11,000 rape kits and to find the funding to get them processed.

"I don't know if they were just forgotten, I don't know if they were ignored, I don't know if they were deliberately put there," Worthy tells weekends on All Things Considered's Guy Raz, "I don't know any of that. All I know is that they were there and that we had to do something about it."

Worthy arranged for a federal grant of one million dollars, but says that didn't allow her team to do much more than sort the evidence, match them up with police reports, and begin a database. To process all of the kits, Worthy estimates, would cost about $15 million.

"If we had the funding to examine and have all of these rape kits tested, we would do that. But right now ... we have to categorize and prioritize the cases that we are looking at first."

So far, just two of the cases are set for trial.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Mr. Turner' Is A Snuffling, Growling Work Of Art

Critic Bob Mondello says Mike Leigh's earthy new biopic about the famed British painter J.M.W Turner shows viewers the incandescent beauty of the world as Turner himself must have seen it.
NPR

New Cuba Relationship Could Be A Boon For American Farmers

Two-thirds of the food Cubans eat is imported — but the reestablishment of ties with the U.S. could open opportunities for American farmers.
NPR

Obama Says Sony Made A 'Mistake' In Cancelling 'The Interview'

President Obama said Sony made a mistake by pulling the movie North Korea opposed and promised a U.S. response to North Korea's actions in the cyber attack against the company.
NPR

FBI Officially Pins Sony Cyberattack On North Korea

The FBI released a statement on Friday saying that the North Korean government is responsible for the massive cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.