Crime

Colorado Springs Has Nearly 20 Percent Of All Untested Rape Kits In Colorado

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The city of Colorado Springs in east central Colorado has nearly 20 percent of the state’s untested rape kits.

A new state law requires police and sheriff’s offices to DNA test all old rape kits in their evidence inventory.

An investigative report from ABC News 7 found last year that 44 percent of collected rape kits in Colorado had been tested. Victims were shocked to learn that police believed it was not necessary.

Sexual assault victim Kelly Binder told ABC News 7 in 2012 that the 4-hour rape kit procedure felt like a second assault.

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"You're lying on this white sheet under these bright lights. Every intimate part, they're taking photographs, and pulling hair out of your head," Binder said. "The experience was just a nightmare.”

Binder was later told the kit would not be tested to see if her attacker was in the DNA database because they could not prove that she had not given consent.

Denver Police Cmdr. Ronald Saunier said last year that many kits don’t need to be tested.

"A lot of rape kits we end up doing are just to document the trauma and everything else that occurred," Saunier said.

Voters didn’t agree. Colorado residents passed a law this year forcing the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to test all rape kits collected.

The Denver Police Department reported 998 untested kits.

Colorado Springs had 1,212 untested kids.

State agencies reported a total 6,283 untested rape kits. That number is expected to climb because 32 agencies have not yet submitted their numbers.

The law requires all kits be tested by the end of 2014. Kits are to be submitted to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for DNA testing, but many of them will be sent to other labs to meet the deadline.

Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) allocated $14 million for testing of DNA evidence from sexual assault cases in his proposed budget.

Sources: ABC News 7, Colorado State News