1,800 more untested rape kits found - WNEM TV 5

1,800 more untested rape kits found

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SAGINAW TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

Thousands of untested rape kits – some dating several back years – could finally be processed throughout the state.

A survey of nearly all of Michigan's counties led to the discovery of 1,800 untested rape kits.

And now there's money to test those kits and put criminals behind bars.

"Yes, Saginaw Township Police Department did have ten untested sexual assault kits," said Saginaw Township Police Chief Donald Pussehl.

And they're not alone.

Those ten are just a small fraction of the nearly two thousand kits across the state that Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said have never been tested.

"What we found on those cases was that the victim knew the suspect," Pussehl said.

Pussehl said the rape kits in the township were never tested because they were for cases where the suspect wasn't in doubt and processing the test kits would clog up an already overworked lab.

In fact, Pussehl said some cases ended with a rapist behind bars.

"Many of those cases have been adjudicated, and the suspect has been found guilty," Pussehl said.

The same may not be true across the state.

New state law requires that all rape kits be tested, so through a combination of $1.7 million dollars earmarked by the legislature and grants, all 1,819 will be tested and added to a statewide DNA database.

Pussehl said this is good news for victims.

"I wholeheartedly respect what the legislature did with the law, it focuses more on victims and the needs for victim rights," Pussehl said.

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