Authorities Find 51 Untested Kits in Robbins

<p>Authorities recently found <a title=”51 untested rape kits found in Robbins” href=”http://www.suntimes.com/18332340-761/51-untested-rape-kits-found-in-robbins.html” target=”_blank”>51 untested rape kits in the south suburb of Robbins</a>. </p>
<p>The police apparently never submitted the rape kits as evidence associated with dozens of sexual assault cases spanning nearly three decades from 1986 to 2011, reports the <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em>. </p>
<p>Along with the untested rape kits, the sheriff’s office also found guns in evidence that were never submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.</p>
<p>This is not the first time authorities have discovered that law enforcement failed to submit evidence relating to rape cases. In 2007, a similar discovery was made of 200 untested rape kits in connection with sexual assaults in Harvey. In that case, follow-up testing of the evidence from the rape cases led to numerous charges, reports the <em>Sun-Times</em>.</p>
<p>As some of the rape kits in Robbins date back to 1986, you may be wondering what authority officials have to pursue criminal actions against the alleged perpetrators.</p>
<p>In Illinois, the <a title=”720 ILCS 5/3-5″ href=”http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+3&amp;ActID=1876&amp;ChapterID=53&amp;SeqStart=5500000&amp;SeqEnd=6400000″ target=”_blank”>general statute of limitations</a> for prosecutors to file criminal charges is three years. The three-year statute of limitations applies to crimes like rape and sexual assault. </p>
<p>However, Illinois law does make an exception and allows prosecutors to file charges relating to sexual conduct or sexual penetration at any time, if the DNA profile of the offender is obtained and entered into a DNA database within 10 years after the commission of the offense. In these cases, the victim still must have reported the offense to law enforcement authorities within three years after the commission of the offense.</p>
<p>For the 51 untested rape kits in Robbins, it will be interesting to see how this law is applied. The victims presumably reported the offense on time, leading to the rape kits being used in the first place.</p>
<p>But there are questions about whether the DNA profiles of the alleged offenders were ever entered into a DNA database, as they were never tested. By looking at the letter of the law, it appears that unless the DNA profile is actually entered into the DNA database within 10 years, prosecutors may be too late to bring charges for the alleged rape. </p>
<p>Related Resources:</p>
<ul>
<li><a title=”Dozens Of Rape Kits Found Sitting In Robbins Police Department” href=”http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/02/19/dozens-of-rape-kits-found-sitting-in-robbins-police-department/” target=”_blank”>Dozens Of Rape Kits Found Sitting In Robbins Police Department</a> (CBS 2 News)</li>
<li><a title=”Contact a Criminal Law Firm” href=”http://chicagolegalauthority.com/criminal/attorneys/” target=”_blank”>Contact a Criminal Law Firm</a> (Chicago Legal Authority)</li>
<li><a title=”Illinois Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws” href=”http://statelaws.findlaw.com/illinois-law/illinois-criminal-statute-of-limitations-laws.html” target=”_blank”>Illinois Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws</a> (FindLaw)</li></ul>