Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Bonus content

February 24, 2014

Bills seek to tackle backlog of untested rape kits

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — With possibly hundreds of thousands of rape kits untested across the country, a number of states are proposing legislation to address backlogs that in at least one case dates back nearly three decades.

In Memphis, Tenn., alone, there are more than 12,000 untested rape kits going back to the 1980s, according to the New York-based Rape Kit Action Project, which has been tracking the backlogs nationwide. In the entire state of Texas, there are about 16,000 untested kits collecting dust in police evidence rooms.

Tennessee is among at least 17 states with proposals that range from requiring law enforcement agencies to inventory their rape kits to analyzing them in a certain amount of time. Three states — Colorado, Illinois and Texas — have passed laws that mandate a statewide accounting of untested rape kits.

Most of the other states’ proposals favor the inventory measure that would require all law enforcement agencies that store rape kits to count the number of untested kits. Rape Project spokeswoman Natasha Alexenko estimates there are about 400,000 nationwide that fall into that category.

“Until we enact this kind of legislation where we’re counting them, we really have no idea,” said Alexenko, a rape victim whose rape kit was finally tested after nearly 10 years, and her attacker arrested after a match was found.

Rape victim Meaghan Ybos of Memphis has been crusading for legislation to address the backlogs for several years. The 27-year-old was 16 when she was sexually assaulted in her suburban home in 2003. She underwent a forensic rape exam, but never heard anything else about her kit.

In 2012, she was watching the local news and learned police had arrested a suspected serial rapist in the same neighborhood where she lived.

“I just knew it was the same person,” recalled Ybos, who called police, told them about her assault and persuaded them to reopen her case. Her rape kit was eventually examined and the suspect’s DNA and that in her kit matched. The suspect pleaded guilty in her case and is currently incarcerated.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Bonus content
  • Congress [Duplicate] Congress races to finish veterans, highway bills WASHINGTON (AP) — Rushing toward the exits, Congress on Thursday scrambled to wrap up legislation addressing the troubled Veterans Affairs Department and a looming shortfall in highway money. House Republicans sought to win over reluctant, tea party

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Economy Not Feeling the Recovery [Duplicate] As US job market strengthens, many don't feel it WASHINGTON (AP) — For millions of workers, happy days aren't quite here again. Though the U.S. unemployment rate has plunged since the start of last year to a five-year low of 6.1 percent, the Gallup Organization has found that consumers' view of the

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • CIA Investigations [Duplicate] State Dept: 'No American is proud' of CIA tactics

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department has endorsed the broad conclusions of a harshly critical Senate report on the CIA's interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks, a report that accuses the agency of brutally treating terror susp

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • TV-Big Bang Theory [Duplicate] Contract dispute delays 'Big Bang' production NEW YORK (AP) — Production on a new season of "The Big Bang Theory" is being delayed because of a contract dispute with its top actors. The Warner Brothers Television studio, which makes television's most popular comedy, said that Wednesday's schedul

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • UCLA Flooding-12 [Duplicate] Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons LOS ANGELES (AP) — The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles into a mucky mess points to the risks and expense many cities face w

    July 31, 2014 8 Photos

  • House Obama Lawsuit-3 [Duplicate] Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead WASHINGTON (AP) — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Obama and other Democrats derided

    July 31, 2014 6 Photos

  • 062612 COAL EXCAVATOR For Indiana coal mining town, EPA climate change plan threatens stability DUGGER, Ind. – Peggy and Martha Marlow collect artifacts of this small town’s history for a storefront mining museum that Martha helped open more than 30 years ago. Tin dinner buckets, carbide headlamps and battered hard hats line the museum’s crowde

    July 30, 2014 11 Photos

  • Film Review Get On Up [Duplicate] Review: Boseman drips with charisma as James Brown There's a delicious moment in "Get On Up," Tate Taylor's new James Brown biopic, when Brown — played by Chadwick Boseman, in a thrillingly magnetic performance — is about to appear on the T.A.M.I. Show, a multi-act concert filmed in 1964. Backstage,

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Settlement erases debt for 261 Indiana military members INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Attorney General Greg Zoeller says a new settlement will erase $1.5 million of bad debt for 261 military members from Indiana. Zoeller and attorneys general from 12 other states filed suit against the lender Rome Finance. They acc

    July 30, 2014

  • Smart phone app helps navigate Indiana State Fair

    The Indiana State Fair is offering a free updated mobile app for smartphones aimed at helping visitors navigate their way around the fairgrounds on Indianapolis' north side.

    July 30, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller