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  1. #1
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    Oct 2009
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    TN - Evidence Solves Rape Cases Years Later, Memphis, 2014

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/03/us...hoto-spot&_r=0

    "MEMPHIS — Meaghan Ybos was 16 and had just arrived home from school when a man in a ski mask held a knife to her throat and raped her.

    The man said he would kill her if she called the police, but she did so anyway. That led to barrages of skeptical questions, Ms. Ybos said, and the excruciating collection of evidence from her body, gathered into what is commonly known as a rape kit.

    “I felt so vulnerable being laid out on a table, with all my clothes off and in a bag and all the swabs and brushes and combs,” she recalled. But at least, she figured, the police would use the swabs and hair samples to help catch the rapist.

    They did not. Like hundreds of thousands of other rape kits across the country containing evidence gathered from victims, that of Ms. Ybos lay untested for years on a storeroom shelf.

    The reasons for the backlog, experts say, include constraints on finances and testing facilities, along with a slow recognition among investigators that even when the offender is known, DNA testing might reveal a pattern of serial rapes. And too often, women’s advocates say, the kits went untested because of an uncaring and haphazard response to sexual assault charges."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Long Beach, California
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    ^^^
    I just can't even wrap my head around the fact that they will spend the money (time in an ER) on taking a rape kit from a victim (which can be devastating to them) and then do nothing with it? Money? What? A rapist is on the loose and we are worried about cost? I swear, if more rape victims were men, this would NEVER be the case. Women and children are so dispensable- even to this day.

    It is heartbreaking and disgusting.

  3. #3
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/03/us...er=rss&emc=rss

    "The stacked-up kits are “more than pieces of evidence,” Mr. Wharton told reporters; each one represents a victim hoping for justice. He formed a task force of police officials, prosecutors and community advocates that meets twice a month to oversee the process and make monthly public reports.

    Over the last decade, reports of large rape-kit backlogs have surfaced, often after investigations by news reporters or advocacy groups. But because many cities have resisted looking too hard or have even destroyed untested kits over time, the extent of the problem is unknown, said Sarah Tofte, director of policy at the Joyful Heart Foundation, a New York group that aids victims of sexual assault and is now advising Detroit and Memphis.
    Continue reading the main story

    “What we know about the extent of backlogs around the country is still less than what we don’t know,” said Ms. Tofte, saying it appears likely that hundreds of thousands of kits still lie on shelves untested. Some of the rape kits were collected in the 1980s, before DNA analysis was fully developed, to establish blood types, something of limited use in court. But in the 1990s and after — as the technology improved and the F.B.I. set up the Combined DNA Index System, or Codis, to allow matching — a large share of kits were still not processed."

  4. #4
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    Apr 2009
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    Long Beach, California
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    Thank you dotr for posting this. It is very important we know what is being done (in this case, not done). I appreciate you bringing this story to light here!

  5. #5
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    Testing old rape kits can also help others who have been wrongfully incarcerated for rape..



    http://myfox8.com/2014/08/02/from-co...gets-new-life/

    "Conviction integrity?

    Phillips’ case is the 34th exoneration by the Dallas District Attorney’s Office since the 2007 advent of the Conviction Integrity Unit.

    The unit is a long-term project that screens untested rape kits by reviewing DNA databases that are preserved by the Southwest Institute of Forensic Sciences.

    It is essentially using DNA testing to conduct an audit of all convictions in Dallas County for which testing may prove the guilt or innocence of a defendant.

    So far, they have tackled only sexual assault convictions from 1990 that meet the following criteria:

    • There was biological evidence available that included seminal fluid.

    • There was only one rapist (cases with biological samples from more than one person are much harder to work with).

    • The attacker’s identity was in dispute at the time of the conviction.

    According to the district attorney, Phillips is the first DNA exoneration in the United States that was identified by a systematic search of old criminal convictions, as opposed to a challenge by a defendant or any other party.

    “Mr. Phillips is very lucky that we tested rape kits from the year in which the heinous crime took place,” Watkins said in a written statement. “DNA tells the truth, so this was another case of eyewitness misidentification where one individual’s life was wrongfully snatched and a violent criminal was allowed to go free."

  6. #6
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    Oct 2009
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    bbm

    "Well, until recently, anything that came in for DNA in the department, whether that was a hair fiber, whether it was blood from a cut hand at a burglary, or a sexual assault kit, was categorized under a DNA piece of evidence," Jawor said.

    Victim advocates argue testing every kit and entering results into a national database will reveal more crimes are linked.

    In Detroit, 11,000 rape kits were recently discovered.

    Since testing began there, 100 serial rapists have been identified.

    "Historically, when we look at rapists, it isn't a single rape that they've committed, but they've committed multiple. And by taking those pieces of DNA and saying we have seven, eight, nine hits from the same individual, will help the detectives pull that evidence together," said Dr. Bill Smock"

    Read more: http://www.wlky.com/news/victims-wai...#ixzz39LUaSPmh



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