DOJ announces testing is complete on backlogged sexual assault kits

Sexual assault kits. (WLUK/Mike Raasch, file)

(WLUK) -- Testing on more than 4,000 unanalyzed sexual assault evidence kits have been completed, according to Wisconsin's Department of Justice.

Attorney General, Brad Schimel, announced the milestone Monday.

Schimel started the project in 2016 and promised testing would be complete by the end of 2018.

Five kits submitted since June 1 remain untested.

“When I took office in 2015, I worked with our team to identify and collect more than 6,000 sexual assault evidence kits that had never been submitted to the crime labs for testing, some of them dating back to the 1980s,” said Attorney General Brad Schimel. “Today, I am proud to announce that testing is complete on all 4,154 kits slated for testing. In less than three years, we will have tested the kits that built up over several decades, and justice can be served to sexual assault survivors.”

The initiative is part of Wisconsin’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (WiSAKI) project to address decades-long accumulation of previously untested sexual assault kits sitting at police stations and hospitals across the state.

The testing has helped a number of old sexual assault cases move forward, including a Fox Crossing incident from 2008.

Democrats, including Josh Kaul, who is challenging Schimel in November's elections, have been hammering away at Schimel for taking years to complete the testing. They say the delays have left dangerous unidentified criminals on the streets.

Schimel has countered that it took time to inventory the kits and find private labs willing to analyze them.

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