LMPD preparing to handle return of 270 rape kits

LMPD preparing to handle return of 270 rape kits
Lt. David Allen (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Lt. David Allen (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A total of 270 rape and sexual assault victims in Jefferson County will soon have answers in their cases, some which are decades old.

After a state audit in September of 2015 revealed more than 3,000 untested rape kits, a grant allowed officials to send the kits out to a private lab for testing.  

Kentucky State Police has already received the results for roughly 300 cases - 270 are from Jefferson County and in the next couple weeks those results will be passed on to the Louisville Metro Police Department.

Lt. David Allen was just moved to head LMPD's Special Victims Unit. He knows with cases that are years old, speaking to victims could be difficult.

+ LMPD to receive hundreds of sexual assault kit test results
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rape-kit testing backlog, bring more victims forward

"We're going to reopen chapters of their lives that some of them have closed by now," Allen said. "Some
of them frankly do, and they're waiting for a phone call or a knock on the door. They want to hear from us."

To prepare, he and other detectives have gone through training.

"Not just for notification purposes, but also tracking the suspects, tracking down our victims; locating them," Allen said. "Many of them have moved on. They may not even be in the area."

The rape kit results will be run through the national CODIS or DNA database looking for a match.

"We're going to be able to just get names across the country because rapists travel," Allen said. "They travel. They prey on their victims."

Other major cities including Memphis and Detroit are doing similar backlog purges, which will Allen said help the database.

"Those departments are going to be hitting on our entries so that's one of the underlying blessings of this whole thing," he said.

Based on the other cities' experiences, he expects around 20 arrests from the first batch of 270 kits.

"If we get one person justice, the whole thing's been worth it," Allen said. "But if they send me back and all 270 are all 270 different people, we will call who we've got to call to get back up."

Everyone involved in the backlog will be notified by officials regardless of whether there is a match or not.

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