KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s been several years since more than 10,000 untested rape kits were found in a Detroit warehouse. About 2,000 were later found throughout the state, 194 of which were found in Kalamazoo County.
“We’re talking about kits that have been on the shelf for decades,” said Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Getting.
All the kits in Kalamazoo County have now been tested and could result in new charges, Getting said.
A five-person team is now investigating the results, reviewing police reports and working with victims to bring charges in some cases. The team found some suspects were already convicted, some were deceased, or some victims didn’t want to pursue charges.
“But in others, what we’ve discovered, is that our victims who initially or were sometimes unable to or unwilling to come forward are now willing to prosecute,” Getting said.
Getting, who was elected Kalamazoo County Prosecutor in 2012, says there’s no way to predict how many people will be charged, adding that he’s “very confident that we will have multiple prosecutions that will come out of this.”
Getting said the oldest kit his team discovered was nearly 30 years old. Working with victims who have tried to move forward can be difficult.
“Here we are knocking on their doors with police investigators, and victim advocates, and prosecutors, saying, ‘We would like to talk to you about what happened,’” he said. “Our priorities right now are in the investigation of those cases (and) making sure we do this in a way that’s going to maximize outcomes and ensure that justice is brought for our victims.”
Getting didn’t have a timeline as to when the first person may be charged.