Kentucky bill would speed collection, testing of rape kits - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky bill would speed collection, testing of rape kits

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Megan Dillery Duff, one of 14 KSP forensic biologists at the state crime lab in Frankfort, shows the process of testing a rape kit. Megan Dillery Duff, one of 14 KSP forensic biologists at the state crime lab in Frankfort, shows the process of testing a rape kit.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Justice could come more swiftly for victims of rape.

A bill filed at the State Capitol on Wednesday would speed the processing of rape kits.

"It was fall semester. I was a freshman in college," Michelle Kuiper told WDRB last summer as she recalled the attack against her.

"After it happens, you're just numb," she said.

A backlog in the testing of rape kits delayed justice for Kuiper. It was 20 years before her attacker was caught and prosecuted.

"It's injustice to the victim, and we have to fix that as lawmakers," said State Sen. Denise Harper Angel (D-Louisville.)

Harper Angel's bill would speed the collection and testing of rape kits to less than four months.

"Every victim of sexual violence needs to be assured that the rape kit evidence will be tested, and that hasn't been happening in Kentucky," Harper Angel told WDRB News.

The bill also sets aside $5 million to fund the state police crime lab. The money would come from a police training fund already in place.

"They need equipment. They need a better process for replacing equipment as it breaks down. They're working with equipment from the 80s. They have underfunding for staff," she said.

A nearly $2 million federal grant is already being used to deal with the backlog of more than 3,000 rape kits. Harper Angel says the bill would prevent future logjams.

"These kits aren't just kits. Each one of those kits is a person," said Michelle Kuiper.

Harper Angel believes the bill has a good chance of passage, saying it's not a partisan issue but a people issue.

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