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Task force unveils numbers of untested rape kits

OKLAHOMA CITY - The unsettling results of untested rape kits have been revealed.

The attorney general's office released an audit that shows nearly 7,000 rape kits across the state have gone untouched.

"Our role here is to help support and empower victims of sexual violence," said Karla Docter with the YWCA.

Docter said YWCA Oklahoma City offers free counseling, prevention and support for victims of sexual assault. The agency also provides free evidence testing for victims.

"We do over 450 exams a year," Docter said.

While the YWCA looks at the success of its forensics program, the state is falling behind in testing thousands.

In the audit spearheaded by Governor Mary Fallin, it shows the nearly 7,000 rape kits in Oklahoma have gone untested.

"So, often, the victims are looking for justice through the criminal justice system and we only have control over what we have control over," Docter said.

Fallin signed an executive order last spring creating a task force to look at the number of untested rape kits from Oklahoma law enforcement agencies. So far, close to 300 responded. Oklahoma City police has nearly 1,600 kits untested, and Tulsa PD has about 3,000.

"Law enforcement states that they have certain reasons in which they do not test them," Docter said.

The AG's office, who conducted the audit, told News 4 the reasons could be lack of victim cooperation, the district attorney deciding not to file or the victim declining not to pursue charges.

"An untested kit does not mean that the sexual assault didn't occur," Docter said.

The goal is to improve victim rights concerning forensic evidence testing and obtaining funds to eliminate the backlog of rape kits.

"We are here to be a voice and to help them through that process," Docter said.

As far as the reasons why some kits were untested, the AG's office said they're compiling that information and it should have the results by the task force's next meeting.

Here is a list of all law enforcement agencies that submitted their results.