Flint gets $2.5M to help solve sexual assault cases

A $2.5 million grant could get hundreds of rape kits off the shelves in Flint and to labs for testing.
Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 7:45 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2022 at 7:46 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - FLINT, Mich. -- A $2.5 million grant could get hundreds of rape kits off the shelves in Flint and to labs for testing.

The money is coming through the Justice Department’s National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, and it will be used for forensic genetic testing.

The person who oversees this investigative aspect is Flint Police Sgt. Mona Patterson. She tells TV-5 each case is more than a mere number to her.

“I’ve been on the department for over 25 years, and I would say since I’ve been in this unit, I’ve probably cried the most,” Patterson said. “Just being able to hear their stories and what’s connected to it, and just to see them get justice.”

She says that of the 770 kits her unit has submitted for testing, more than 200 involved cases sent for prosecution. Of that number, there were more than five serial rapists and one tied to human trafficking.

Patterson said testing revealed one serial rapist had 26 victims.

“Not only the testing came back showing us that he was connected to all of these cases,” she said, “but he also videotaped his rapes as well. So we were able to solve those.

“And another one of the serial rapists was of children, and he had since been locked up after being released from sexually assaulting multiple children in the past.”

Patterson says there is backlog of as many as 500 rape kits. She says with the money, “We hope to be able to get a lot of it taken care of.”