At least 400,000 rape kits across the country have never been processed. In some cases. they've been shelved for decades while the suspects remain free.
"As someone who has tried rape cases without that vital evidence, it is just inexcusable that this kind of thing still happens in our country today," CNN Legal Analyst Sunny Hostin tells Wolf Blitzer. Going through the exam after being the victim of sexual assault can be invasive and difficult, making it even more unfortunate that the evidence is untested, she says.
In an AC360 report on the rape kit backlog, Randi Kaye interviewed a woman who followed up on her case more than two decades later and discovered that law enforcement had never processed the evidence. When they did, they found the man who raped her, but it was too late for her to press charges.
"There is no reason why there should be a statute of limitations," says Hostin. "With all the DNA matches and the advances we've made with DNA, a match could be made many years later, sometimes after the statute has passed." There are about 20 states that don't have a statute of limitations on rape cases, but Hostin calls it incomprehensible that the law differs outside those states.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with