HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The State’s Auditor General has been putting pressure on officials to properly fund police department and crime labs to get rape kits tested.
It’s a crisis that York County’s Samantha Fullman knows all too well. At just 15-years old, Fullman was raped by four men.
“We have a rape kit crisis,” Fullman said. “I was pretty much passed around like a piece of meat. That was 10 years ago next month and I have not heard anything since then,” she continued.
She’s not alone. In 2016, the Auditor General’s office found more than 3,200 rape kits, some dating back to the ’90s, sitting in crime labs across the state, untested.
“That’s more than 20 years, in some cases, for rape victims to wonder if they would ever see any justice for the heinous crimes committed against them,” Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said.
Since that report, the number of Untested kits has gone from 3,200 to just 339, a 90 percent reduction that includes zero backlogged kits in State Police crime labs.
DePasquale says work still needs to be done for the remaining backlogged kits as survivors like Samantha Fullman continue to wait for answers.
Moving forward. the Idaho State Police Forensic team have designed a rape kit tracking system that allows police and lab officials to record, and track, every single kit. DePasquale says they are making that system available to Pennsylvania, at no cost.