Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rape Kit Backlog Update by the Numbers

Posted By on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 10:33 AM

In the last month, the Memphis Police Department [MPD] has discovered 14 more untested rape kits, which brings the total of all untested kits found here to 12,374.

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MPD major Don Crowe updated Memphis City Council members Tuesday on the overall project to test the current backlog of untested kits.

Crowe said MPD continues to comply with Mayor A C Wharton’s executive order on the kits, which includes working with the cross-functional team overseeing the process.

The department received a donation from a private citizen to help fund the testing project, he said. The department also continues to apply for grants to help fund the process.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will help as they have received a $2.4 million grant to assist cities with backlogs. MPD received a $300,000 grant to test kits from the federal National Institutes of Justice.

Also, MPD will send 30 kits to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Finally, a local fund has been established at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis to help MPD test more kits.

The MPD’s monthly reports to council about the sexual assault backlog usually comes down the numbers. Tuesday’s report was no different. Here are the most recent figures on the Memphis rape kit backlog:

• 12,374 total rape kits discovered
• 6,722 not yet tested
• Nearly 5,000 of those kits collected before DNA testing existed
• 2,495 now being tested, majority at a private lab
• 222 investigations initiated based on testing
• 90 remain active
• 132 investigations have been closed
• 20 individuals identified as being previously convicted
• 34 indictments issued
• 14 of those are suspects based on hits in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index [CODIS] System
• 20 suspects remain as John Doe, not identified
• 18 cases closed because either victim or suspect have died
• 21 cases closed because victims have been contacted but did not want to participate in a further investigation
• 27 cases not caught before the statute of limitations expired
• 3 cases investigated did not meet the statute definitions of a crime

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