Update: Victim advocate weighs in on rape kit backlog being investigated by AG

3 months 1 week 1 day ago Thursday, November 09 2017 Nov 9, 2017 Thursday, November 09, 2017 3:01:00 PM CST November 09, 2017 in Top Stories
By: Amber Sipe and Celine Pence, KOMU 8 Reporters
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Thursday his office will investigate the unprocessed rape kit backlog in Missouri.

“Every rape kit that goes untested means a rapist who remains on the streets, able to attack again, and a survivor who is denied justice," said Hawley, according to the news release.

He said the attorney general's office will look at the reason for the backlog and who is responsible. 

This is an issue KOMU 8 News has reported on multiple times in the past few years - once, in 2015 and again in 2016.

Jennifer Carter Dochler is the Public Policy Director for the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She said it is complicated to pinpoint where the backlog is coming from.

"Is the backlog after a kit has been sent to the crime lab? Is the backlog because they are sitting in law enforcement because a survivor hasn't decided to move forward? Or is a backlog that a survivor is wanting to participate in investigation but they haven't been sent off to the crime lab yet?" Dochler said.

Dochler said MCADSV has been facilitating meetings with law enforcement, prosecutors, crime labs and rape crisis centers for two years to address gaps Missouri's infrastructure has regarding sexual assault.

"One of the gaps has been that we don't know exactly how many kits are sitting in hospitals or law enforcement to know how many kits there are," Dochler said. 

MSHP provided KOMU 8 News with a list of rape and sexual assault kits in MSHP crime lab in 2015. KOMU 8 News then looked at the documents to figure out exactly how long cases were sitting in the crime lab. Some cases had been open since 2013 without being processed. 

On Thursday, Missouri State Highway Patrol Director of Public Information and Education John Hotz did not give exact numbers of cases, but said MSHP processes a rape kit within 30 days of receiving it.

Hotz would not comment on where the backlog issue comes from.

Dochler said it is important to know how many kits there are to build a notification system.

"There's other states that have a notification system so that a survivor knows exactly where their kit is in the process, and they automatically get notified. We would love to have a similar process in Missouri," Dochler said.

End the Backlog is A Joyful Heart Foundation initiative that is working to eliminate the backlog of untested rape kits and prevent a backlog in the future.

The End the Backlog website reported earlier Thursday that there were 1,324 backlogged cases in Kansas City, as of a request filed in 2014.

However, after the attorney general announced his investigation, the number changed to state "counting in progress."

The news release from the attorney general's office cited a national statistic that said one in six women will face an "attempted or completed" sexual assault in her lifetime.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public School's will have two high schools by August 2019. The district held a... More >>
50 minutes ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 1:09:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The Boys & Girls Club of Columbia kicks off its 13th annual MFA Oil Rootin' Tootin' Chili Cook-off... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 6:35:00 AM CST February 17, 2018 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT- Leonard Stephenson has lived in his mobile home, on the same street, for over 20 years. "I... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 12:55:00 AM CST February 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Department of Mental Health is notifying 1,000 people that some personal information... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 5:16:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Amid complaints about the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control said the vaccine is... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 3:54:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say the substance used in an attack on three high school... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 3:43:53 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mizzou basketball player Michael Porter Jr. may be on the bench this season but that hasn’t kept him... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 2:57:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Deputies arrested a man Friday morning after he allegedly led them on a pursuit that ended in a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:55:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Following the deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, the superintendent of Jefferson City Public... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:46:50 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - New Haven Elementary could be home to a brand new playground. The school is competing in a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:44:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
FULTON - An investigation into allegations against a former staff member at the Division of Youth Services Fulton Treatment Center... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:38:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - There's a new member of the Boone County Fire Protection District team, and he's hitting the ground running... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:22:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
CENTRALIA - Police took a student into custody Friday morning after staff at Centralia High School found a handgun in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 11:16:00 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police confirmed a person died after getting hit by a semi truck on I-70 early Friday. The... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 11:08:00 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
VALLES MINES (AP) — A man suspected of shooting at a suburban St. Louis sheriff's deputy is in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 9:35:35 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
FORSYTH (AP) — Authorities are fighting a fire that has burned about 500 acres in the Mark Twain National... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 9:30:28 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Troopers in Missouri say a mother made her reluctant 14-year-old daughter drive, leading to a crash... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 9:25:15 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
MARYLAND HEIGHTS (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man suspected of fatally stabbing another man and a toddler at... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 9:15:37 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 39°
2pm 50°
3pm 52°
4pm 49°
5pm 47°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:30p
Paid Program
2:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
5:00p
Jeopardy!
1:00p
Rookie Blue
2:00p
Rookie Blue
3:00p
Elementary

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld