The Los Angeles City Council has just concluded hearings on the huge back log of untested rape kits held by the LAPD as part of sexual crimes evidence that the force has collected. These public hearings were all over the local television stations as victims of sex crimes and their advocates shamed the LAPD for the backlog of over 7,300 untested rape kits. In many cases, the statute of limitations has past on these crimes and those that sexually assaulted their victims could not be brought to trial.
After the hearing concluded, the City Council approved the hiring of 16 additional crime lab analysts immediately to process these samples. DNA and other samples taken from rape victims have not been processed. Sarah Tofte, researcher with the US Program at Human Rights Watch, says that the problem is not just with the processing of evidence, but in the investigating and prosecution of rape cases.
Yesterday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Police Chief William Bratton, and Councilmember Jack Weiss announced that the crime lab would be increased by 30 employees in the next six months. This, they claim, will alleviate the backlog in untested kits.
San Bernardino and Orange County criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut specializes in sex crime defense. His offices in Hollywood area of Los Angeles are easily accessible and available for a consultation.