LANSING, Mich. - State Attorney General Bill Schuette is pushing to get potential serial rapists off the streets. Nearly $2 Million was allocated at the beginning of the fiscal year to complete tests on rape kits that have sat for years in 82 different Michigan counties, many of which are in West Michigan.
The AG's press secretary Andrea Bitely said these untested rape kits have sat dormant because the cases they're initially tied to may have been solved in another way, such as through a confession or guilty plea.
It's important to note that these are sex assault kits that were collected before October 1, 2014.
"What we’ll do is go through and test these kits and make sure they don’t match up with another sexual assault in another county, or another sexual assault across the country, for that matter," said Bitely.
With more than 1,800 untested kits across the state, not including Detroit and Wayne County, Schuette's office is now seeking change.
These are the top five cities outside Detroit with the most untested kits collected before Oct. 1, 2014:
- Flint Police Dept. - 261
- Battle Creek Police Dept. - 239
- Grand Rapids Police - 199
- Kalamazoo Dept. of Public Safety - 113
- Jackson Police Dept. - 63
Lawmakers have appropriated $1.7 million to have the kits tested, a process Bitely said will be a game changer in sexual assault cases.
"Our goal is to get these kits tested to make sure that these crimes, if we have a serial rapist, we’re gonna stop that person and stop them in their tracks," said Bitely. "We'll continue to protect victims, even if it’s delayed justice."