CBS Investigates Indianapolis’ Untested Rape Kit Controversy

Mayor Ballard likes to talk about putting public safety high on the list of priorities, but a CBS News Investigation about rape kits going untested for months and years in Indianapolis says otherwise:

The Marion County Forensic Services Agency in Indianapolis had 80 untested rape kits in its queue. Unlike any other jurisdiction interviewed by CBS, the lab also collects all rape kits that are taken at area hospitals even if the victim does not submit a report to the police. Michael Medler who runs the Marion County Forensic Services Agency says this is done in the event a victim decides she wants to file a report in the future she can call and the kit can be submitted. Medler says his lab is currently storing 289 kits where the victims have not reported the crime. If kits are sent to the county lab but later not tested they are sent back to the Indianapolis Police Department.

According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, there are currently 1,356 rape kits in storage but the department does not know which kits are tested and which are untested. Sergeant Paul Thompson of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department told CBS in an email, “The kits would not be tested if the victim did not report the incident or chose not to pursue prosecution or cooperate in the investigation.” Kits are destroyed if the responsible officer says they can be destroyed.

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