By Christina Ramey
INDIANAPOLIS – The Senate adopted a resolution on Wednesday that encourages the Indiana State Police audit of all untested sexual assault examination kits that exist across the state.
Senate Resolution 55 looks to find out why there are sexual assault examination, or rape, kits that have DNA samples but have not been tested. A rape kit is what is used to gather evidence, including DNA samples, when someone has been sexually assaulted or raped.
Sen. Michael Crider, R-Greenfield, was the sponsor of Jenny’s Law that allows for rape charges to be filed after the five-year statute of limitations has expired if there was DNA evidence discovered that identified a suspect, a recording is found that shows the crime or a confession is made.
Sen. Michael Crider, R-Greenfield, sponsored a resolution to have the state police conduct an audit of untested rape kits in the state. Photo by Zach Osowski, TheStatehouseFile.com
The law, which passed in 2015, is named for an Indiana University student whose rapist confessed to the crime nine years after her assault but was not charged because the statute of limitations had expired.
“As part of that discussion and subsequent discussions I had with victims they always expressed a concern that they weren’t the only victim, that there was a need to look at untested rape kits that might exist in the system that hadn’t be processed,” Crider said.
Crider wants to model what Kentucky did when it had state police conduct an audit of all the rape kits in health care facilities, police evidence rooms, and crime labs that haven’t been tested yet.
Crider said he wants the audit to determine the overall number of rape kits that have yet to be tested and determine why they weren’t tested.
Crider said that he has talked with the state police about the resolution and that they are willing to do the audit. A college student will work with the state police as an intern and contact law enforcement agencies to find out where all the rape kits may be.
The data collected will help determine patterns that can be used to help Crider and others move forward in the process of creating new policies concerning rape kits and how DNA is processed.
The audit will begin this fall.
Christina Ramey is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.