Imagine being brutally attacked, then going through the pain of providing a rape kit for investigators, only to have it sit untouched, collecting dust on a shelf, for more than two decades. During that time, the rapist remains free – not only allowed to go about his business but free to brutalize and rape others because investigators aren’t looking for him. They can’t be looking for him because they’ve never tested the rape kit that contains his DNA.
In my story tonight for Anderson Cooper 360 you’ll meet two women who lived this nightmare. They went through the pain of providing a rape kit, only to have it sit on a shelf for more than two decades in each case. Carol Bart, who was raped in 1985, called the Dallas Police Department to check on the status of her kit in 2008. Unbelievably, it had not yet been processed more than 20 years later. Once it was, her rapist was identified in just four months. But that was too late for Carol to press charges since the statute of limitations had run out.
You’ll meet Carol tonight on AC360, along with Lavinia Masters, the other rape survivor we spoke with. Hear what they think about the fact that at least 400,000 rape kits are sitting untested in crime labs around the country.
What’s being done about this injustice? And why are police still playing catch-up all these years later? Be sure to catch my report tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
UPDATE Watch Randi's report from tonight's broadcast:
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