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Bill Requiring Timely Testing of Rape Kits Headed for Senate

Legislation making its way through the Michigan Legislature is aimed at preventing situations such as one that was discovered in 2009, when 11,000 untested rape kits were found abandoned in a police warehouse.

“Law & Order: SVU” actress Mariska Hargitay appeared with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in March when Worthy announced she would push for legislation requiring timely testing of rape kits. (Photo: Getty Images)
“Law & Order: SVU” actress Mariska Hargitay appeared with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in March when Worthy announced she would push for legislation requiring timely testing of rape kits. (Photo: Getty Images)

Legislation intended to speed up rape kit testing has unanimously passed the Michigan House of Representatives and is now headed for the Senate.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy pushed for the legislation after the discovery of 11,000 untested rape kits in a Detroit police storage facility.

The legislation proposed by Worthy attempts to resolve the backlog and require timely testing of new rape kits, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“What those time standards will do is make sure that this problem never recurs, and there’s never another sexual assault victim in this state … who will wait years for justice,” Worthy told the Free Press.

Those timelines include:

Police have 14 days to pick up rape kits after being advised of their existence by a health-care facility.

After picking up the rape kit, police have 14 days to submit it to a lab for analysis.

Labs have 90 days to analyze the kits, and profiles from the kits must be uploaded to state and national databases.

Health-care facilities must store rape kits that are not turned over to police for at least a year.

Worthy appeared with “Law & Order: SVU” actress Mariska Hargitay in March, when she proposed the legislation. At the time, about 100 “serial rapists” had been identified through DNA evidence after Worthy began pushing state officials to begin processing abandoned rape kits.
T as in Truth May 27, 2014 at 04:06 AM
Can we convince Kim Worthy to run for Ficano's office? Pretty, pretty, please?!?!?!?
Joseph Borrajo May 27, 2014 at 08:10 AM
Untested rape test kits is an accessorial criminal act for continued rape activities. Get it done! NOW! P3
David Duff May 27, 2014 at 09:44 AM
What is wrong with our legal and police dept.? These women and some men are brutalized and they get shoved into an abandoned warehouse?! Shame on our judicial system!! Make the realists pay for their distruction of these people live!
Robert Tupilo May 27, 2014 at 10:24 AM
How will all of this get paid for? Maybe reduced retirement benefits for public employees? $35,000 per year for 30 years of retirement is over a $1,000,000 benefit PER EMPLOYEE. (This doesn't even include health benefits and cash outs of unused vacation and sick days.) I wish as a taxpayer I was a bottomless pit to be plucked from at millage ask time, but I'm not.
Bill May 27, 2014 at 01:00 PM
It’s pretty sad that legislation has to be passed to insure rape kits are processed properly. I assumed that when a crime was committed an investigation was initiated. Or is rape no longer a crime? ...or at least a “serious” crime? What other crimes are going un-investigated because they're just not worthy...? Do we need legislation in place to insure all crime is investigated?

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