The results of the clearing the Detroit backlog were shocking. Of the 824 serial rapists identified, over 50 individuals had committed 10 to 15 assaults apiece. With the help of CODIS, the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System database, they also linked attackers to crimes committed in 39 other states. Now that the testing is complete, the investigation and prosecutions are on-going. “It has been a decade now and we are far from done,” reflects Worthy. Her office currently has 588 cases that are either being investigated or are yet to be tackled.
The End the Backlog website provides a state-by-state summary of the currently known rape kit backlog and an overview of legislature reform efforts, as well as information on how citizens can get involved in this important issue. Such legal reforms are essential to ensuring that backlogs, once cleared, won’t return in the future. As Worthy observes, “No one turns their back on a cold case homicide. So we wouldn’t even have this discussion… but because it’s sexual assault, for whatever reason, it’s very easy for some folks to sweep this under the rug.”