Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is pledging that $35 million his office received from asset forfeiture funds will be used to test backlogged rape kits across the country.
At the Detroit Police Commissioner’s meeting Thursday Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says there has been tremendous progress with testing but a new chilling stat has emerged – identifying more serial rapists.
Worthy said that a combination of public and private financing had helped the authorities in Wayne County significantly reduce their backlog, but that 2,400 kits were still untested. She said the county would apply for some of the money being made available by Mr. Vance’s office.
In 2009, Worthy found 11,341 untested rape kits while touring an abandoned warehouse. After testing 2,000 of the kits, her office turned up 473 matches related to unsolved crimes in 23 states.
“Out of 1,600 I thought we had 127 serial rapists identified,” Worthy said. “We now have 188. The rapists have gone on to rape in 26 or 27 other states and some of these states have multiple hits.”
Worthy says they’re also using new technology for victims to track their own rape kit.Rape kits never processed were discovered in the Detroit police crime lab in 2009. Police Chief James Craig said that the Detroit Police Department are committed to getting those kits tested.