Detroit Rape Kit Project
In 2009, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy's office discovered 11,341 sexual assault kits in a Detroit Police Department property storage facility. The kits, which were collected between 1984 and 2009, were never submitted for DNA testing. A sexual assault kit is the DNA taken from a victim's body after a sexual assault. Each one of the untested kits represents a man, woman or child who suffered a violent assault and underwent a lengthy and physically invasive evidentiary collection procedure in an effort to apprehend his or her assailant. If tested, a sexual assault kit can identify an unknown assailant, affirm a victim's version of events, discredit a suspect's story and connect evidence to serial rapists. In contrast, an untested kit can often mean justice denied for victims.
Faced with 11,341 untested sexual assault kits, Prosecutor Worthy applied for, and received, a grant from the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the Department of Justice. Under the grant, a group of multi-disciplinary stakeholders, along with sexual assault researchers from Michigan State University, meet regularly to determine how thousands of sexual assault kits came to be warehoused, how to move forward and how to ensure that the problem does not happen again. Prosecutor Worthy is dedicated to ensuring that: every kit is tested: every case is investigated; and that a victim-centered approach to the investigation of sexual assault is implemented at a state and national level.
Press Release - April 18, 2018 - I AM EVIDENCE - HBO Documentary Premiered April 15, 2018 at the DIA
African American 490 Challenge - Broad Coalition Rallies Around Efforts To Fund Rape Kit Testing, Investigations
United States Department Of Justice Announces Grants For The Eastern District Of Michigan To Address Backlog Of Untested Sexual Assault Kits
Gov. Snyder: Michigan State Police Completes Testing Of Shelved Sexual Assault Evidence Kits In Wayne Co.
State Of Michigan Attorney General Schutte, Worthy, Etue, Craig Announce New Resources For Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Cases
New York County District Attorney Vance Announces Up To $35 Million in Funding to Help Eliminate Rape Kit Backlog in Cities
Press Packet For The March 10, 2014 Proposed Sexual Assault Kit Evidence Submission Act Press Conference