Mobile Police Work to Clear backlog of Untested Rape Kits

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded the Mobile Police Department $828,203 to test 1,793 kits. In 2016, the department received another $118,111 dollars from the BJA to continue that work. In 2017, the BJA awarded an additional $1,962,929 dollars to MPD to implement a coordinated community response to centralize how sexual assault cases are handled within the jurisdiction. In 2018, they awarded the Mobile Police Department $1.5 million to sustain this work.

All of these resources and efforts have born fruit. Friday January 17th, the Mobile Police Department announced that they have completed the testing and retesting of 757 backlogged rape kits to date. Of those cases, MPD stated, 139 returned hits in the FBI’s Combined DNA index system (CODIS) database. 9 of these cases were clear through previous prosecution and conviction, with the results confirming the results of these cases. Four of th 139 cases resulted in new arrests of suspects identified with this new testing. In 83 of the cases, a suspected was indentified but prosecution will not move forward because of a myriad of reasons including deceased suspects or victims, the victim chose not to move forward or declined by the prosecutor.

Of the remaining 43 cases, some are moving towards prosecution and some are still awaiting the location and contacting of victims. The four individuals arrested as a result of this testing are Timothy Robinson, who was set free through a legal loophole, Lorenzo Green, who hasn’tgone to trial yet, Fredrick Tate, who was convicted in a 1997 rape, and Roderick Williams, who is also awaiting trial.

The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) provides competitive grants for teams committed to reforming how their jurisdictions deal with cases of sexual assault.

Anyone who may have an untested sexual assault kit at the Mobile Police Department is asked to call The Promise Initiative at 251-431-5100

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