The Untested Rape Kit Crisis and Cold Case Sexual Assault Prosecutions

03/14/2014 - 2:00pm
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Ilse Knecht
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In 2009, over 11,300 untested rape kits were discovered in a Detroit Police Department property storage facility.  With funding from the National Institute of Justice, a two and one-half year project was begun to determine why the kits went untested and to develop strategies for preventing this type of crisis from reoccurring.Kym Worthy, Wayne County Prosecutor will discuss why the kits went untested for decades and the importance of utilizing a victim-centered approach when notifying victims that their case has been re-opened. In addition, she will provide insights into the investigative process and what prosecutors need to successfully charge and convict offenders in cold case sexual assaults. Any doubts as to the value of testing older rape kits will be quickly dispelled by the project results which have already resulted in the identification of numerous serial offenders. 

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