Survivors helping state auditor to address backlogged rape kits
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It was 1994 when Michelle Kuiper was pulled off the porch of her Louisville home and attacked.
Curtis Boyd wasn't arrested until 2011 for raping Kuiper and two other women.
"I feel like him being put in prison has set me free," Kuiper said.
DNA from sexual assault kits connected the three cases.
"You don't learn anything about what happened to it," Kuiper said about victim's rape kits. "You just figure, well, you're doing this and it's gonna be tested right away and they're just gonna get your assailant."
State officials say it's possible hundreds or thousands of sexual assault kits are going untested in Kentucky.
Auditor Adam Edelen is in the process of counting them.
"I think it will be more than our original estimate," Edelen said. "Moving forward, we're really pleased with the feedback we've gotten from law enforcement and think that we're going to be to produce a system that works better for victims and their advocates and law enforcement who are trying to pursue justice."
Edelen is listening to those involved in the process across the state. Kuiper says she's going to as many meetings as possible.
"I think really the officers try to do the best they can but it's just really they don't have the protocols in place, I think," Kuiper said.
Kuiper says while her kit was tested right away, no one told her the suspect was a serial rapist until 2005, years after the three kits matched.
"I can't change the past," she said. "I can't change that I was his victim. I can just be victorious and go on and change the future and make it better for future generations."
Kuiper hopes speaking publicly will help other survivors. Her story also shedding light on a problem that may keep rapists out of jail and keep victims from getting justice.
"It's very possible that in those kits that are sitting there, that there could be some more that match Curtis Boyd," Kuiper said."I mean, we don't know that. They could be untested."
A bill sponsored by state Senator Denise Harper Angel prompted this audit. Officials say it will allow them to pursue millions of dollars in grants.
Kuiper started a website to help other victims find resources, you can find it here.
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