LMPD to receive hundreds of sexual assault kit test results

LMPD to receive hundreds of sexual assault kit test results
Published: Oct. 1, 2016 at 2:45 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 1, 2016 at 3:08 AM EDT
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Tracey Clark (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Tracey Clark (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Dr. Eileen Recktenwald (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Dr. Eileen Recktenwald (Source: WAVE 3 News)

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Hundreds of rape survivors in Metro Louisville are a step closer to justice.

Detectives in Jefferson County will soon get the first results from more than 1,000 backlogged rape kits, untouched for years.

Tracey Clark has been a victim advocate for rape and sexual assault survivors years.

"The work spoke to me. I got into this 20 years ago as a very young person," Clark said. "This is just where I needed to be."

She had an understandable reaction to a state audit in fall of 2015, revealing a backlog of more than 3,000 rape kits statewide.

"I guess I wasn't completely surprised at the number, but it's always a little disappointing," Clark said.

After receiving a $2 million grant, Kentucky State Police went to work hiring personnel and farming out the kits to Sorenson Forensics, a private lab.

Hundreds of results have already come back to KSP, 270 from LMPD, and in a few weeks they'll be in the hands of law enforcement officers and persecutors.

"I am so relieved that folks are finally going to get some justice and that perpetrators are going to be held accountable," Dr. Eileen Recktenwald, the executive director of the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, or KSAP, said.

Friday, KSAP organized a seminar for survivor notification, teaching law enforcement how to approach victims who have been waiting decades for answers on their cases. 

"We approach it very cautiously because we really don't know what that survivor's experience will be," Clark said.

Recktenwald said most victims want justice and closure.

"I think the victims that are knowing that this is happening, I think they're waiting for the call," Recktenwald said.

There is no statute of limitations on felony sexual assault and rape cases, so even the decades old cases can still be prosecuted.

While hundreds of cases are back, officials said there are still thousands left to go.

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