CHICAGO (CBS) — Dozens of kits used to gather evidence in sexual assaults were recently discovered sitting in an room in a south suburban police station–including some from over 25 years ago.
The Cook County Sheriff’s office is now working to process 51 rape kits, which were never sent by Robbins police investigators for analysis between 1986 to 2011.
Robbins Police say they were never tested, because the women either recanted or refused to press charges.
But a flood in the basement at the Robbins Police Department destroyed the statements that went along with the kits, so Commander Christian Daigre said he asked for testing, to err on the side of caution.
Sheriff Tom Dart disputes that, saying it was the county that started this ball rolling.
“From my background as a prosecutor, those numbers, it’s impossible with numbers at that level where you would have 44 kits,” said Dart. “You look at the numbers around the state percentage wise that would not be submitted are infinitesimal. You think about the process that someone has to go through to have this done, it’s very difficult.”
This is not the first case of this kind in the south suburbs.
A federal class-action lawsuit was filed in March, 2012 against the city of Harvey, accusing it of failing to process 200 rape kits.
At the center of the allegation is a 22-year-old rape victim identified as Jane Doe.
The suit says Jane Doe was raped in 2007 when she was 17 — and that her rape kit was never processed.
Not only hers, the lawsuit says, but a total of 200 rape kits.