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
  • Jamie Kennedy live in Kokomo this weekend Actor and stand-up comedian Jamie Kennedy said he's excited for his first-ever trip to the City of Firsts — a place he has heard only one thing about. He laughed Wednesday night, saying the only thing he's heard about Kokomo is that it's home to a pl

    July 24, 2014

  • Social Security Computer Woes [Duplicate] Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't work WASHINGTON (AP) — After spending nearly $300 million on a new computer system to handle disability claims, the Social Security Administration still can't get it to work. And officials can't say when it will. Six years ago, Social Security embarked on

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Awarded a Pell Grant? Better double-check WASHINGTON (AP) — Potentially tens of thousands of students awarded a Pell Grant or other need-based federal aid for the coming school year could find it taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form. The mistake primarily stems from an onl

    July 24, 2014

  • Film Review Lucy [Duplicate] Review: 'Lucy' won't stretch your brain capacity So let's start with the enticing premise of Luc Besson's "Lucy," starring Scarlett Johansson: Human beings only use 10 percent of their brain capacity. Imagine what it would be like if we could access all of it? Well, wow. It would be sort of like ..

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona inmate dies 2 hours after execution began PHOENIX (AP) — A condemned Arizona inmate gasped for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's o

    July 24, 2014

  • Obama [Duplicate] Obama wants limits on US company mergers abroad LOS ANGELES (AP) — President Barack Obama is tapping into growing misgivings about tax-driven overseas mergers by U.S. corporations, issuing a new call to end the practice quickly and questioning the patriotism and citizenship of those companies. The

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Court rules prison agency mistreated former Pendleton counselor INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that Indiana's prison agency mistreated a female employee when it shrugged off her complaints about workers having sex on her desk and later fired her for having an affair with an official. The ap

    July 23, 2014

  • Porch Shooting [Duplicate] Porch shooter's lawyer says he feared for his life DETROIT (AP) — A defense lawyer for a Detroit-area man who killed an unarmed woman on his porch says he repeatedly heard poundings — "boom, boom, boom" — outside his home before he opened the door and shot her in the face. Jurors heard opening statem

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • George Harrison Tree-Beetles-6 [Duplicate] [Duplicate] George Harrison memorial tree killed by beetles LOS ANGELES (AP) — A tree planted in Los Angeles to honor former Beatle George Harrison has been killed — by beetles. Councilman Tom LaBonge says the pine grew to more than 12 feet tall before succumbing to a bark beetle infestation. The tree was rem

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Complaint ends teacher prayer in western Indiana school district TERRE HAUTE (AP) — A western Indiana school district is telling teachers and other employees they can't lead prayers during school-sponsored event. The decision by the Vigo County School Corp. in Terre Haute follows a complaint made to the Freedom fr

    July 23, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
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