Attorney general appoints leader of sexual assault kit initiative

4 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago Wednesday, February 27 2019 Feb 27, 2019 Wednesday, February 27, 2019 1:30:00 PM CST February 27, 2019 in News
By: Abby Dodge, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – Attorney General Eric Schmitt's office secured grant money to start taking the next steps to log, process and track untested rape kits in Missouri.

Schmitt appointed judge M. Keithley Williams Wednesday as state coordinator of the sexual assault kit initiative.

Schmitt said the data gathered will "send a message loud and clear."

“If you commit a crime against any person in this state, we will use everything in our power to find you and bring you to justice,” he said.

Schmitt said there is a dire need for the initiative.

“We now know that in our state there are currently thousands of untested sexual assault kits just waiting to be logged,” he said.

The most recent numbers out of the attorney general’s office show a total of 5,424 untested kits. Only 40 percent of law enforcement and hospitals reported their backlogs, Williams said. 

“First you have to acknowledge there is a better was of doing business,” she said.

Lee Russell, the board director of a domestic violence shelter in Columbia, said a more efficient system for testing and tracking rape kits will "turn hope into action."

“When someone calls and needs help our advocates can feel and project more confidence that they can bring these perpetrators to justice,” Russell said.

Williams’ position is funded by the $2.8 million grant secured by former Attorney General Josh Hawley.

The attorney general’s office currently has access to 25 percent of its grant funding. Once it completes the logging process, the office will have access to the rest of the funds.  

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA — A Columbia teenager is home safe after she was missing for almost two days. Summer Skye Allen,... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, July 20 2019 Jul 20, 2019 Saturday, July 20, 2019 9:05:00 PM CDT July 20, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA — Three men were arrested after allegedly stealing $22,000 worth of electronics from a Moberly Walmart Saturday. Several... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, July 20 2019 Jul 20, 2019 Saturday, July 20, 2019 6:53:00 PM CDT July 20, 2019 in Continuous News
CENTERTOWN - Family, friends and even strangers showed up to celebrate Jasen Smith's life at his Memorial Benefit at Apple... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, July 20 2019 Jul 20, 2019 Saturday, July 20, 2019 4:35:00 PM CDT July 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police confirmed a runaway teen missing since Thursday was found safe Saturday afternoon. Summer Skye Allen was... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, July 20 2019 Jul 20, 2019 Saturday, July 20, 2019 4:03:00 PM CDT July 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - After being closed since May due to flooding, The Station House at Katfish Katy's is now open. ... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, July 20 2019 Jul 20, 2019 Saturday, July 20, 2019 3:32:00 PM CDT July 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The runway at Jefferson City Memorial Airport is back open after a small plane overturned Saturday morning.... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, July 20 2019 Jul 20, 2019 Saturday, July 20, 2019 1:25:00 PM CDT July 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — A Rolla man was sentenced to life in prison Friday for a 2017 shooting that killed two people.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 19 2019 Jul 19, 2019 Friday, July 19, 2019 7:45:00 PM CDT July 19, 2019 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - The Missouri Highway Patrol helped detonate a suspicious package Friday afternoon at the Holts Summit Police Station.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 19 2019 Jul 19, 2019 Friday, July 19, 2019 7:29:00 PM CDT July 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - With excessive heat fixed over Mid-Missouri, senior citizens looked for a place to escape the heat on Friday.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 19 2019 Jul 19, 2019 Friday, July 19, 2019 1:45:00 PM CDT July 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Show-Me State games kicked off Friday morning at 11 AM with a Torch Run at the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 19 2019 Jul 19, 2019 Friday, July 19, 2019 1:44:00 PM CDT July 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man Thursday night after he allegedly went into a woman's apartment and sexually abused her.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 19 2019 Jul 19, 2019 Friday, July 19, 2019 9:06:01 AM CDT July 19, 2019 in News
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors filed reckless homicide charges on Thursday against a Missouri semi driver for a highway construction zone... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 19 2019 Jul 19, 2019 Friday, July 19, 2019 8:12:49 AM CDT July 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — A Versailles man previously convicted of child molestation has been charged with possession of and promoting child pornography.... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 7:47:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
INDIANAPOLIS - The NCAA heard Missouri's appeal on Thursday after the school was handed a handful of penalties back in... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 6:49:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in Top Stories
BRANSON - One year ago Friday, 17 were killed when a duck boat sank during a thunderstorm on Table Rock... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 5:01:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors filed reckless homicide charges on Thursday against a Missouri semi driver for a highway construction zone... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 4:09:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The new AI face editing app FaceApp has become an instant hit with iPhone users. However, there are... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 3:45:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - An excessive heat warning is still in effect through Saturday and families should take precautions when playing on... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 1:55:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
2am 78°
3am 79°
4am 77°
5am 76°