Kentucky Auditor Edelen Holding Stakeholder Meetings on Untested Rape Kits

Jun 10, 2015

Credit Adam Edelen/Facebook

State Auditor Adam Edelen will host 13 meetings across Kentucky as part of an audit into the estimated thousands of untested rape kits in the state.

During a committee hearing earlier this year, Kentucky State Police officials estimated that the state had as many as 5,000 untested rape kits.

In April, Edelen announced that his office is auditing police and prosecutors to find out precisely how many kits haven’t been tested. His office also aims to find the cause for the backlog.

In a statement on Wednesday, Edelen said the meeting will be an important part of looking into the “complex issues surrounding untested rape kits.”

“I hope to hear from law enforcement, prosecutors, survivors and others as we begin working toward recommending reforms to the system,” Edelen said on Wednesday.

Edelen said the meetings would also include advocates, nurse and judges.

The testing backlog means DNA samples aren’t getting added to a national DNA database, which law enforcement agencies use to match unknown perpetrators with offenders already in the system.

Edelen’s office will look into how rape kits and information are “logged, tracked and stored, how decisions to test kits are made, whether victims are notified of the status of their kits and whether law enforcement have sufficient policies, procedures and training to handle kits and deal with victims.”

Once Edelen’s review is complete, Kentucky State Police will likely apply for grant money to expedite the work of getting caught up on testing kits.

About 20 percent of women in Kentucky have been raped, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. About 47 percent have been victims of other types of sexual violence.

Across the U.S., about 400,000 rape kits are untested, according to a justice department estimate.

The meetings are open to the public. Here are the times and locations:

June 23
2 p.m. CST
New Beginnings Sexual Assault Support Services, 1716 Scherm Rd., Owensboro

June 26
10 a.m. CST
Purchase Area Sexual Assault and Child Advocacy Center, 1605 North Friendship Road, Paducah

June 30
10 a.m. EST
Women’s Crisis Center, 3580 Hargrave Drive, Hebron
July 1
11 a.m. EST
Silverleaf Sexual Trauma Recovery Services, 751 South Provident Way, Elizabethtown
July 7
10 a.m. EST
Cumberland River Behavioral Health, 1203 American Greeting Road, Corbin
July 7
2 p.m. EST
Adanta Sexual Assault Resource Center, 130 Southern School Road, Somerset
July 9
10 a.m. CST
Economic Justice Institute, 2109 Old Louisville Road, Bowling Green
July 9
2 p.m. CST
Hopkinsville Municipal Center, 715 S. Virginia Street, Hopkinsville

July 13
10 a.m. EST
145 Constitution Street, Lexington
July 14
2 p.m. EST
The Rising Center, 637 Morton Blvd., Hazard
July 21
10 am EST
Mason County Health Department, 120 West Third Street, Maysville
July 21
2 p.m. EST
Park Place, 1701 Central Avenue, Ashland

July 8
1 p.m. EST
Center for Women & Families, 927 S. 2nd Street, Louisville