Urban Girl Mag | Hundreds of untested, mold-covered rape kits found in Austin PD crime lab
texas, austin, rape kits
12478
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-12478,single-format-standard,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-3.5,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.0.1,vc_responsive

Hundreds of untested, mold-covered rape kits found in Austin PD crime lab

With the ever-growing epidemic of unresolved and mishandled rape cases continuing to plague the state of Texas, even more shocking and disappointing news arises. As reported by ABC affiliate KVUE, over 1,600 untested rape kits were found in a broken refrigerator in an Austin Police Department facility, over 850 of which were covered in mold.

.

.

In March of 2016, a cooling system broke in the DNA/SAK storage unit without any staff noticing for several days. Almost no improvements or upkeep was done to the unit until the discovery of mold in the unit this past April, which has led to much needs repairs totally over $20,000.

.

.

And while the APD and other local officials have been able to confirm that the mold found on the kits will not affect their ability to be tested and that none of the kits in the refrigerator had been tested yet, thus have not been used in any ongoing or resolved investigations, this brings to light a very familiar problem for victims of sexual assault and rape in Texas: a lack of urgency from law enforcement.

.

.

From a study published in April by the University of Texas, only 62% of sexual assault kits (SAKs) that were submitted to state crime labs between January 1st, 2015 and December 31st, 2016 were actually completed, leaving nearly 3,000 from that time period completely unprocessed and that only accounts for the one-third of rape victims that actually get rape kits, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

.

.

Just as well, in the two years of that study, only 10% of all submitted SAKs (7,637) were processed in 90 days or less, with 1.7% being processed in 30 days or less, staggeringly low numbers that mean much needed evidence in these rape cases are being stalled behind due to lack of priority and the rapists of these women are being allowed to freely live their lives and, potentially, repeat their crimes.

 

.

.

Texas is currently the national leader in untested rape kits, with recent numbers estimating over 19,o00 untested kits are currently in the state. But, signs of hope are on the horizon. Not only has more exposure been put on this problem over the last 12 months, but reforms are currently being pushed to get all these kits tested, a venture that could cost the state a maximum of .02% of its $218 billion budget, but implementing legislature that would require SAKs to be tested within 60 days of their submission. Current Texas law only allocates $4.2 million towards the testing of SAKs and there is current no state law that stipulates the time frame for testing SAKs.

 

Comments

comments

Zachary Mahabir
zacharymahabir16@gmail.com

Radio/TV Host, young news veteran, Top 100 all-time on Genius.com, and much more!

No Comments

Post a Comment

Get the latest from Urban Girl Mag

Get the latest in news, fashion, and entertainment.
Name
Email Address
Secure and Spam free...