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Testing begun on statewide backlog of sexual assault evidence kits

Police car lights
Wikimedia | Matty Ring | CC BY 2.0

Testing has begun on close to 2,000 untested sexual assault evidence kits in the state, including several hundred in west Michigan.

The 1,819 untested kits were identified in January by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office. At that time, all the kits were at least a year old.

The January numbers include 199 untested kits at the Grand Rapids Police Department and 113 at the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

The numbers do not include Wayne County, which completed a backlog of more than 10,000 untested kits in a separate effort last year.

Schuette says the evidence kits are being shipped to forensic laboratories for testing, coordinated by the Michigan State Police and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan. 

He says a variety of reasons contributed to the evidence kits not being tested, which can include suspect confessions and guilty pleas.

The update was provided as part of a recognition of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Hilary is a General Assignment and Enterprise reporter for WGVU Public Media. She joined WGVU in September 2014 after several years of experience as a local news reporter, anchor and photojournalist in Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties. She's also worked as a financial and business reporter and audio field producer.
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