AG Kaul Announces Progress in Effort to End Backlog of Sexual Assault Kits
MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul announced today new data is available detailing Wisconsin’s progress in ending the backlog of sexual assault kits.
“DNA matches from the testing of a sexual assault kits can help get justice for survivors of sexual assault,” said Attorney General Kaul. “The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that all SAKI cases with DNA matches are fully investigated.”
As of April 12, 2019, 998 kits with foreign DNA identified have been added to a national database of DNA profiles, out of 4,160 tested sexual assault kits. The latest data can be found at wisaki.doj.wi.gov/numbers/data-results.
Of more than 6,000 previously unsubmitted and untested sexual assault kits inventoried in Wisconsin, some kits were originally not designated for testing because the kits were associated with a case involving a conviction. To meet grant requirements, DOJ will now test 320 kits, including a random sample of conviction-related sexual assault kits. This testing will be funded through grant awards.
In tandem with local multi-disciplinary teams, DOJ has reviewed more than 600 cases and continues to review cases multiple times a week. These case reviews include: examining police reports, identifying potential safety risks to the public and the victim(s), identifying legal impediments to a renewed investigation or prosecution such as statute of limitations concerns or plea agreements, and whether additional samples are needed from the suspect(s) or consensual partners. Also during this case review, multi-disciplinary teams discuss notifying the victim. A case review will not necessarily result in a prosecution or conviction.
Charges have been filed in five cases: Winnebago Co. Case No. 18 CF 130; Waupaca Co. Case No. 18 CF 129; Rock Co. Case No. 18 CF 519; Oneida Co. Case No. 18 CF 350; and Milwaukee Co. Case No. 19 CF 649.
DOJ has also been approved to hire an additional research analyst and an additional assistant attorney general to assist with the project. These positions are funded through federal grant funding.
The research analyst will leverage the data gathered from the comprehensive testing of sexual assault kits to further the understanding of sexual assault crime investigations and prosecutions.
The assistant attorney general will represent the state and assist local prosecutors with the prosecution of cases associated with previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits. The assistant attorney general will also work to ensure collection of DNA samples from those lawfully required to provide the state with a sample.
WiSAKI is a statewide effort to address the issues surrounding unsubmitted sexual assault kits in the possession of local law enforcement agencies and hospitals in Wisconsin.
For more information and data about the Wisconsin’s effort to end the backlog of sexual assault kits, go to wisaki.wi.doj.gov.
- Testing results by county: https://wisaki.doj.wi.gov/numbers/testing-results
- DNA matches by county, and matches to other states: https://wisaki.doj.wi.gov/numbers/codis-hits
For additional assistance connecting with advocacy and support services, contact the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault at 608-257-1516 or visit ByYourSideWI.or