Colorado lawmaker wants sexual offenses taken more seriously
A recent journalistic investigation into Colorado’s handling of sex crimes evidence has some in the state upset and calling for change. The news report indicates that though officials collect rape kits from supposed Colorado sex offense victims, those kits are not being used for anything.
Rape kits include DNA samples of potential sexual offenders. If the kits go untested then strong evidence indicating the likely identity of a rape suspect goes uncollected or confirmed. This is a problem for supposed sexual assault victims but could also be a problem for criminal suspects.
Clearly, those who claim that they’ve been raped as well as the state would have a stronger case against a suspect if DNA from the rape kit matched someone. From a criminal defense standpoint, DNA evidence can also clear sex crime suspects of the serious allegations against them.
Why aren’t the rape kits being tested? There is a portion of money allocated for these investigations, but U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet regrets that less than half of that money is going toward testing rape kits. He’s fighting for 75 percent of the federal funding to be used for the tests. Colorado State House Speaker Frank McNulty takes the cause further and wants all kits to be tested.
This recent report and the passion it has ignited within some Colorado lawmakers and residents may lead to some changes in the sex crime investigation process and also in the criminal charges that some suspects might face. Allegations of sexual offenses can lead to severe consequences, consequences that an experienced criminal defense attorney should try to help mitigate.
Source: 7News, “State, federal legislators react after CALL7 investigation into rape kit testing in Colorado,” Keli Rabon and Arthur Kane, Nov. 26, 2012