Audit: Indiana has 2,500 untested sexual assault kits
As a result of Senate Resolution 55 passed by the Indiana General Assembly, Indiana State Police and county agencies conducted an audit of untested sexual assault kits. It found across the state there are 2,560 untested sexual assault kits.
The results of the audit were released on November 27 after the Indiana State Police received data from 91 of Indiana's 92 counties.
From the nine Indiana counties in Michiana, there are 614 net untested sexual assault kits.(scroll to bottom of page for data)
The audit did not count kits that were untested because the victim chose not to pursue the case or there was no evidence of a crime.
St. Joseph County had the largest number of untested kits, at 478. However, Marion County did not provide a total number of untested kits, but the number of untested kits in 2015. The number was presented as an average number of untested kits for the county for each year, during the last ten years. In the audit, Marion reported a net number of 256 untested kits.
St. Joseph County released the following statement regarding the audit. They will conduct a review to determine why the kits were not tested and will provide the public with the results of the review when complete.
On Friday, December 1st, Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield) announced the Indiana State Police (ISP) audit of untested sexual assault examination kits across the state of Indiana. The audit revealed that St. Joseph County (including Mishawaka, South Bend, and the unincorporated portions of St. Joseph County) had 478 untested sexual assault kits. St. Joseph County Prosecuting Attorney Ken Cotter has vowed that the entire backlog of cases will be sent to the Indiana State Police lab for testing and is working with law enforcement to ensure that this never occurs in the future.
Prosecuting Attorney Cotter and the Special Victims Unit have teamed a Deputy Prosecutor with a Special Victims Unit detective, full-time. This team will focus on evaluating these untested sexual assault examination kits and their associated cases, some of which date back to the 1990’s, and ensure that proper testing is conducted.
In addition, in order to ensure that this never happens in the future, Prosecutor Cotter has demanded that every non-anonymous sexual assault examination kit be sent to the lab for testing.
“I thank the state legislature for the audit which bought this issue to light. This is categorically unacceptable. Every untested kit will be tested and the original investigation reviewed. These investigators will start with the most recent kits and work their way backwards until there is no longer a backlog of untested kits and cases. During this process, our Office will also determine why the kit was not sent to the lab, and take appropriate steps.”-Prosecuting Attorney Ken Cotter
In January, DNA will be collected from felony arrestees and that information will be entered into the Indiana Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Currently, CODIS provides investigative leads in nearly half of the cases submitted with DNA evidence.
In the report, the authors noted not all sexual kits attributed to a specific county may involve a victim from another county. Some counties may not have forensic nurses or Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, and could be referred to a medical facility outside the venue of the crime.
|County||#Untested at medical facility||#Untested in evidence||#Jane Doe Non- reporting||#No crime/false report||#From adjudicated cases||Net# of untested kits|