SDPD has nearly 3,000 untested rape kits - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

SDPD has nearly 3,000 untested rape kits

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The San Diego Police Department is responding to a recent report which found there are thousands of untested rape kits sitting in crime labs across the country, including here in San Diego.

A victims advocacy group says that the San Diego Police Department has nearly 3,000 untested rape kits and they're asking for all of them to be tested.

"The San Diego Police Department takes every sex crime case very seriously," says San Diego Police spokesperson Lieutenant Scott Wahl.

Lt. Wahl doesn't dispute his department has more than 2,800 untested rape kits in its possession.

"We've made decisions on not to move forward with those kits because either no crime was committed or the victim doesn't want to move forward with prosecution."

Lt. Wahl says legally, they can't test a rape kit and submit it into a federal DNA database until those two criteria are met. He cites the DNA identification act which passed in 1994.

Jennifer Shen, the department's crime lab manager, says that when someone reports a rape or sexual assault, the victim undergoes an exam and gets a detective assigned to their case right away.

However, seeing as how they get 2,000 DNA requests a year, Shen says putting resources into testing kits that can't be submitted isn't helpful.

"We have to follow the rules that are very clearly laid out," says Shen.

What the department does do, is keep rape kits for much longer than they're required to. As a result, if circumstances change, they will have the evidence in tact.

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