Delay in Detroit Rape Kit Testing Allows 'Serial Rapists to Remain Free'

An April 21st report claims that "nearly five years after the discovery of 11,000 abandoned rape evidence kits" sparked outrage in Detroit, "only about 2,000 of those kits have been tested."

This has allowed "serial rapists to remain free and in some cases commit more attacks."

According to the Detroit Free Press, the testing has been backlogged due to "a lack of resources--money, as well as police, prosecutors and investigators." The Free Press also cites "a lack of communication and coordination among the investigating agencies."

Part of the problem is expected to be fixed this year "because the state legislature appropriated $4 million to send [the rape kits] to private labs." But for cases "dating back a decade or more...once evidence is tested, victims must be found, witnesses must be interviewed and re-interviewed, and old police files must be located or reconstructed."

The Free Press reported on one man who assaulted a woman in 2006, and a rape kit test done six years later linked him to rape cases in 2011. 

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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