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WCPO Sexual Assault Kit Task Force News

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office Receives One Million Dollar DOJ Grant Award

Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced today that the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs has approved and awarded one million dollars to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office Sexual Assault Kit Task Force for fiscal year 2019 under the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

The National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) reduces violent crime and supports local law enforcement officers and prosecutors by:

  • Providing resources to address sexual assault kits in their custody that have not been submitted to a forensic laboratory for testing.
  • Improving investigation and prosecution in connection with evidence and cases resulting from the testing process.
  • Aiding sites in collecting DNA samples from individuals and loading the profiles into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). CODIS compares DNA profiles electronically and can link violent crimes to known offenders.
  • Helping investigators with how to more effectively question subjects, which could provide stronger investigative leads and build stronger prosecutorial cases, which in turn, could help solve more crimes.

Prosecutor Worthy said, "Now that the testing phase has been completed, this award will greatly assist our continued efforts to focus on investigating and prosecuting these cases. We are proud to receive support from the DOJ. This award certainly validates the decade of hard, tireless work that we and all of our collaborators have done in testing, investigating, and prosecuting Detroit's - and Michigan's - stockpiled sexual assault kits. It is rewarding to know that this grant will help to bring justice to sexual assault survivors.

"I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the public/private partnership Enough SAID comprised of Michigan Women Forward, the African American 490 Group, the Detroit Crime Commission and the Wayne County Prosecutors Office, who have continually supported this important initiative."

I Am Evidence Wins Emmy for Best Documentary

The HBO documentary, I Am Evidence, produced by actor Mariska Hargitay and co-produced and co-directed by Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir, won an Emmy Award for Best Documentary on Tuesday, September 24th. The movie focuses on the national issue of untested rape kits by looking at how the cities of Detroit, Cleveland and Los Angeles have dealt with the issue of discovering tens of thousands of untested rape kits by focusing on the story of four sexual assault survivors. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement!

"It was my one of my life's greatest privileges to be a part of this movie. It highlighted the issue of stockpiled sexual assault kits for many that may not have known, and clearly exposed what inaction can do. I am so thankful for Mariska's unwavering commitment and that of the directors and producers", said Prosecutor Worthy.