LANSING, Mich- Today Governor Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced plans to test thousands of unprocessed rape kits from crimes committed in Detroit. Organizers of the plan say it’s all in an effort to remove rapists and other violent criminals from the streets, and to get justice for the victims of unsolved crimes.
The announcement comes after more than 11,000 untested rape kits dating back 25 years were discovered in a storage facility belonging to the Detroit Police Department. Each rape kit has the potential to solve multiple crimes, including those committed by serial rapists.
To fund the rape kit testing, Governor Snyder included a $4 million appropriation for the State Forensics Laboratory Fund in his proposed supplemental budget, which is currently under review by the legislature. The appropriation is funded by settlement monies successfully recovered by Attorney General Schuette from state and national litigation. “Every woman who was a victim of sexual violence deserves a full and complete investigation, and these funds will begin the road to justice for those who have already waited too long,” said Schuette.
In 2011, the National Institute of Justice published a report on the challenge of untested rape kits nationwide, called The Road Ahead: Unanalyzed Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases. That is available online here.