LMPD begins notifying victims from rape kit backlog - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

LMPD begins notifying victims from rape kit backlog

LMPD has received 50 of around 2,000 backlogged DNA kits discovered in a state audit. (Source: WAVE 3 News) LMPD has received 50 of around 2,000 backlogged DNA kits discovered in a state audit. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Results from backlogged sexual assault kits have revealed at least two serial rapists in Louisville.

LMPD has received 50 of around 2,000 backlogged DNA kits discovered in a state audit.

The department has started the notification process for the victims.

Sgt. Tim Stokes of LMPD’s Special Victims Unit is responsible for those calls.

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"Most of them know exactly what I'm calling about,” Stokes said. "The first part of that included just an apology. ‘I'm sorry you were just a victim of a crime’."

So far, the department has been able to reach 15 victims from the 50 cases, which span from 2010 to 2014. Many victims have moved, changed numbers or had issues with drugs and mental health.

“They were scarred by the crime and that is a horrific event for anyone to have to live through,” Stokes said.

A grant from the District Attorney of New York, known as the DANY Grant, paid for kits to sent to a private lab. After the lab does the testing, results
are delivered to KSP and then sent along to LMPD or another department.

Of the 50 kits they’ve received, 44 have had DNA hits, meaning the suspect has committed a felony before. That’s a high success rate.

After the kit is back and the notification is made, detectives move forward.

"They begin to look at every aspect of that case as if it has never been worked, turning over every new leaf,” Stokes said.

Many victims, though, don't want to move forward and so far there are no new arrests yet.

"That is opening up that wound and in some ways causing a great deal of emotional stress,” Stokes said. “They didn't really plan for me to come back into their world."

Stokes is paired with Nicole Carroll, a victim advocate.

“Each victim processes things in their own way and in their own time,” Carroll said.

She said the goal isn't an arrest as much as helping victims improve their lives.

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"We can't move forward unless they're in a place to do so,” Carroll said. "We're trying to mend that lapse in time for that person."

"We can help them with recovery from drug and alcohol, recovery from mental health issues,” Stokes said. "I think we're making a difference for victims. I think that is critical."

Stokes believes getting through all of the 2,000 kits may take a few years. He said if the kits come in quicker, the department will bring in more help to not create a second backlog.

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