The number of untested rape kits across Louisiana continues to raise red flags for state lawmakers. A recent mandatory inventory check found more than 1,100 untested kits. They include criminal investigations involving children.
Disturbed, is the only way that Senator J.P. Morrell can explain his feeling after seeing the number of untested rape kits in Louisiana.
“As a father of a daughter, as a husband to a wife you have to fear for what woman go through in this world and when you see things like these untested rape kits it really makes you question does law enforcement take sexual assault seriously”
The state has found more than 1,100 kits across Louisiana have gone untested. These numbers come from a 2014 bill championed by Morrell to calculate an inventory of back logged raped kits.
“What the hospitals are telling us is we’re calling the departments and saying come pick up your child rape kit and their saying the case is closed, I don’t know how the heck that happens”
The most troubling numbers for the senator are the 94 untested pediatric rape kits. The inventory found 81 of those kits at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.
“A child can never consent to sex, so I don’t know how you close a child rape case without testing an actual kit”
The numbers are not complete yet, 128 police departments have not submitted an inventory report. The NOPD reported the most untested kits, 200.
The senator says from here he is working with several advocates to put together a bill package that standardizes the way these kits are handled within the state.
“We’re going to develop a universal standard and identify a person by department who’s responsible for maintaining those kits picking up those kits, processing those kits, and getting that back log done”