Michigan has nearly 2,000 untested rape kits

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jan 28, 2016

A survey by the state Attorney General's office says police departments outside of Wayne County have 1,819 untested rape kits. The office surveyed the other 82 counties after State Police got through more than 10,000 untested kits in Wayne County. The kits listed in the report came from sexual assault investigations that started before October 1, 2014. There can be several reasons for a kit not being tested including the victim refusing to press charges, the suspect choosing not to contest the accusations or the accusation being false. The following departments in Mid-Michigan have untested kits:

Jackson: 63 (city disputes this number, see below)
Lansing: 40
Mason: 24
Eaton County Sheriff: 21
Meridian Township: 14
Jackson County Sheriff: 7
MSU: 5
Grand Ledge: 4
Olivet: 2
Bath Township: 2
Spring Arbor: 1

Jackson Police Lt. Chris Simpson tells the department actually has 41 untested kits, not 63. He can't say for sure where the discrepancy comes from. Possibilities include kits being sent out for testing between the time the survey was taken and when the report was released or kits being destroyed when cases were closed. Lt. Simpson says there are some kits that are being investigated and that will be sent out for testing. Others were never tested because victims chose not to press charges, because suspects didn't contest the accusations or because the accusations were false.

Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski gave similar reasons for his department's 40 untested kits. He says all of them have been accounted for and that, "What we did not find in our audit were stock piles of sexual assault kits that were not assigned to investigators or otherwise unattended."