New data released from Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative

Published: Feb. 20, 2020 at 10:35 AM CST
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New numbers are out from the Wisconsin Department of Justice after all sexual assault kits designated for testing have been tested.

Attorney General Josh Kaul released the latest prosecution details on Thursday after 4,472 kits were tested.

As of the end of January, 1,038 sexual assault kits with foreign DNA were added to the national DNA database.

Kaul said his department has reviewed 1,406 cases. The reviews include police reports, identifying things that would impeded a renewed investigation, or prosecution.

He said 40 cases have been referred for a charging decision. A total of 12 criminal cases have been filed in relation to the DOJ Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. There are currently two cases underway in South Central Wisconsin, including one in Dane County and one in Rock County.

“The Wisconsin Department of Justice continues to work with law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim advocates to fight for justice for survivors,” said Kaul. “Prosecuting the violent offenders who commit sexual assault is critical to keeping our communities safe.”

The Attorney General also said survivors were notified about the results of 127 sexual assault kits. He said at this time, notification is not being made about the results of the testing of 1,105 sexual assault kits.

Kaul said the reason for not notifying sexual assault survivors include:

  • Sexual assault kit testing was inconclusive, not identifying a suspect;
  • The case related to the sexual assault kit was already prosecuted or there is already a warrant issued but the suspect has not been located;
  • Case currently not proceeding to prosecution because the DNA testing provided no new information or investigative leads;
  • The survivor connected with the sexual assault kit chose not to report to law enforcement;
  • Notification might not be safe or appropriate at this time depending on survivor or dynamics of the case.

For more information and data about Wisconsin’s effort to end the backlog of sexual assault kits,