SUPCO Case Could Impact Efforts To Process Backlog Of Rape Kits
The Ohio Attorney General's office says more than 98 hundred previously untested rape kids have now been tested. Nearly 12 thousand had been submitted for testing as of Feb. 1 in an effort that began in 2011. 26 hundred of those kits were submitted after a new law went into effect last March requiring law enforcement agencies to submit any previously untested kits within a year. The AG's office says the testing has led to the indictments of hundreds of suspects. An Ohio Supreme Court case could affect the state's effort to clear the backlog of untested rape kits. The state is appealing last summer's dismissal of rape and kidnapping charges by the Eighth District Court of Appeals against Demetrius Jones because of pre-indictment delays. Jones was charged in 2012 when evidence in a rape kit linked him to a 1993 assault. The Joyful Heart Foundation, a non-profit group that supports the processing of untested rape kits, has filed an Amicus Brief supporting the appeal. Spokesperson Ilse Knecht says the ruling affects the ability to prosecute cases if additional evidence is discovered when the state processes untested rape kits.
The Joyful Heart Foundation was established by actor Mariska Hargitay.