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Rape Kits Often Go Untested

National Institute of Health
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Over the past 15 years in Polk County, more than half of the rape kits collected in criminal cases remain untested in evidence rooms, the Ledger of Lakeland reports.

According to the Ledger, 1,643 rape kits have been collected in the 3,544 reports of rapes, attempted rapes and sodomy in the past 15 years.

The paper found that few local and state agencies in Florida keep tabs on just how many go untested, and there is no law requiring that rape kits to be tested or law enforcement to keep count of the untested kits.

Other states including Ohio, Texas, Colorado and Illinois passed laws regarding rape kits and backlogs of untested kits, the Ledger reports.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.