Rape DNA backlog clearing, but prosecutions stall
By CAITLIN McARTHUR
Capital News Service
LANSING — The testing of thousands of rape kits discovered in a Detroit Police Department evidence warehouse in 2009 has matched DNA to just over 1,000 people already in the Michigan State Police database, but officials now face the much bigger task of tracking down the offenders. Advocates, state legislators and the State Police say Detroit’s backlog of 11,000 rape kits is expected to be cleared by the end of the the year, but a lack of additional resources has stalled the progress of prosecutions. A shortage of money and manpower has advocates campaigning for more resources from local, state and federal levels. “Getting the kits tested does us no good if we don’t have the resources to find the victims and the perpetrators and get justice,” said Peg Tallet, chief community engagement officer for the Michigan Women’s Foundation and the Detroit initiative Enough SAID (Sexual Assault in Detroit). Enough SAID, which raised nearly $5 million from a mix of private individuals and public companies to help clear the DNA backlog, is now campaigning to raise more money to fund the prosecution efforts.