Several local agencies miss extended rape kit deadline

Published: Feb. 23, 2018 at 10:35 PM CST
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UPDATE: The Carter County Sheriff's Office tells us they did comply with the audit request. They have one untested kit in their evidence room.

Last month we told you 20 Texoma law enforcement agencies were listed as non-compliant on Oklahoma’s statewide untested rape kit audit. Since then, that number has been cut in half.

"When somebody has a rape kit done it's like playing the lottery whether your kit is going to be tested or not,” Danielle Tudor said.

Tudor is a rape survivor.

She told News12 the bill she wrote to have all rape kits tested in Oklahoma didn't pass last year, but did spur Governor Mary Fallin to sign an Executive Order requiring law enforcement to audit their evidence rooms by December 30.

Since then nearly 7,000 untested rape kits have been logged, including 126 right here in Texoma.

The task force reported 20 Texoma agencies had missed the December deadline. As of Friday, ten more are now in compliance.

But that still leaves 10 that are not: Achille Police, Carter County Sheriff’s Office, Murray County Sheriff’s Office, Ada Police, Bennington Police, Boswell Police, Dickson Police, Ratliff Police, Stonewall Police and Tushka Police.

Durant Police Department was one of the first agencies to comply.

"Our oldest kit in evidence dates back to 1996,” Lt. Chris Marcy said.

Marcy told us they have 28 untested kits in their evidence, which they've held onto due to a lack of state regulation on what to do with them.

Oklahoma also does Jane Doe kits, in which identifying information is stored at the hospital and not at the police station.

“Again another one of those we don’t have a set regulation,” Marcy said. “We give it a case number and that is all it has at the Durant Police Department.”

Each exam takes about four hours to complete. After that it's up to each department to decide how long to keep them.

"I hear some agencies after a year if the victim doesn't come forward and make an official report that they're purging or destroying the kits. Some people say three years, some people say seven,” Marcy said.

"Whether we're testing them or not, we should not be not be destroying them,” Tudor said. “Because Technology is always changing. DNA that you could not extract from a rape kit years ago, you could now."

Tudor said she joined Fallin's task force to find better ways to help victims of rape, like putting together new legislation that will ensure all rape kits get tested and logged into the FBI's database to track down serial rapists.

She also wants the state to keep kits from being destroyed for at least 50 years.

"If it could potentially help solve a crime, I'm all for it,” Marcy said.

The task force findings and recommendations are due out July 1.