KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Kalamazoo County prosecutors are working to bring perpetrators to justice after a state-funded investigation tested nearly 200 untouched rape kits.
More than $144,000 in state funds financed two temporary sexual assault kit special investigators in May, MLive (http://bit.ly/2t0cwVR) reported.
Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting said the 194 rape kits, some up to 30 years old, have all been tested.
Local law enforcement agencies are taking a second look at the original investigations to see if further action can be taken with the new information.
Getting said it’s not possible to predict how many convictions will result from the investigation, or how soon they will come.
“I think it’s extremely important that we circle back and look at all of these untested kits if for no other reason than to ensure the safety of our citizens,” Getting said. “If we have individuals that have been involved in multiple sexual assaults we want to be able to identify them and make sure people are protected from them.”
He said new technology allows prosecutors to identify perpetrators that couldn’t have been discovered in the past.
“If it results in even one (conviction), it’s a victory,” Getting said. “I’m confident that there will be some.”
The Legislature appropriated funding to the Attorney General in 2015 to assist local prosecutors in investigating and prosecuting cases arising from untested sexual assault kits throughout Michigan. A Memorandum of Understanding signed last fall says that Kalamazoo County will be reimbursed up to more than $99,000 for limited term investigators and $45,000 for additional costs through September.
Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette, http://www.mlive.com/kalamazoo