Thousands of Rape Kits Remain Untested, In Storage in Indiana

Published: December 6, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - It's a startling number.

A state police review found more than 2,500 sexual assault kits across the state are sitting in storage, untested.

That means 2,500 victims without answers, and without evidence that could be used in a criminal trial.

There has been speculation for years about the number of untested sexual assault evidence kits were really out there so State Senator Mike Crider (R-Greenfield) asked for an investigation. The results came in Friday.

Aly Austin with Families First could hardly believe what she was hearing. As a sexual assault survivor advocate, she knows how important asexual assault evidence kit can be.

"It's very unfortunate when survivors have to go to the hospital and go through this whole invasive intimate process for them just knowing their information will just sit on a shelf. It's very harmful," Austin said.

She's talking about a review by Indiana State Police that revealed 5,396 untested kits have languished in police headquarters around the state. Of those kits, 416 are "Jane Doe: kits where the victim chose not to pursue the case. 1,669 were unfounded cases and 751 were already in the court system which leaves 2,560 that no one knows anything about.

"I want to say to the victims, 'Indiana is trying to do something about this,'" Crider said.

Tracy Horvath Krueger with the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault echoed his sentiments.

"Their justice, however they define justice, they deserve that. They deserve to be heard. They deserve to be believed," she said.

"So when you hear 2,500 you don't...people don't realize that is 2,500 victims," Austin said.

She said she is pleased the state is moving to correct the problem, but she also worries someone victims might use this as an excuse not to speak up.