Unclear why 47 percent of sex assault kits are untested

Posted at 11:21 AM, Dec 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-01 14:10:39-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- It is unclear exactly why there is a 2,500-case backlog on untested sexual assault kits, an Indiana State Police study found. 

State Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield) announced Friday the results of an Indiana State Police study on the untested sexual assault kits in Indiana. 

Crider authored Senate Resolution 55, which urges ISP to conduct an audit of its untested sexual assault examination kits, to find out why so many weren't tested.

There were 5,396 untested kits in the custody of law enforcement across Indiana. The information on each kit was given to ISP, which compiled the data at the request of Senate Resolution 55.

Of those 5,396, there is no clear reason why 2,650, or 47 percent, remain untested.

The following reasons were given for the other untested kits:

  • 416 were attributed to non-reporting or “Jane Doe” kits, which law enforcement cannot test without the permission of the victim
  • 1,669 were identified as no-crime or false-report kits, which are held in the event a false reporting case needs to be made or until the statute of limitations expires
  • 751 were attributed to adjudicated cases, which are held in case of appeal or expiration of a statute of limitations on a related non-charged crime

“We needed to know the scope of the problem before we could start trying to find solutions to the issue of untested sexual assault examination kits,” Crider said. “I am tremendously grateful to local law enforcement and county prosecutors for their participation in the State Police’s audit."

Crider also said he will be presenting a bill in the 2018 session legislative session to further address the backlog of untested kits.

Editor's note: This story previously erroneously stated the 5,396 kits were in ISP's custody. The audit found the kits in the custody of law enforcement agencies across Indiana, such as police departments and sheriff's offices.

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