More than 1,000 DNA profiles added to national database from backlogged tested sexual assault kits

Published: Feb. 20, 2020 at 6:06 PM CST
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More than a thousand tested sexual assault kits have produced DNA that’s been added to a national database of DNA profiles, Wisconsin’s attorney general Josh Kaul announced Thursday. The announcement follows the completion of 4,472 tested sexual assault kits completed in November, after a statewide project to address a backlog of kits dating back to the 1980s began in 2016.

The DOJ is continuing to review cases resulting from the kit tests, a press release noted, with 40 cases currently referred for charges. 2 criminal cases have been filed as a result of the tests in north central Wisconsin: Oneida and Portage counties. Overall, 266 sexual assault kits in counties across north central Wisconsin* were set aside for testing as part of the project.

23 of those kits came from the Wausau police jurisdiction, Lt. Nathan Cihlar said, but generally don’t result in charges due to the backlogged kits stemming from cases that usually already have suspects. Marathon County Sheriff’s Office detective’s lieutenant Jeff Stefonek noted that the addition of DNA results to the national database is primarily useful for unsolved cases or repeat offenders.

the process for submitting sexual assault kits for testing is expected to stall for another year in the Assembly after passing the Senate last year. On Twitter, Kaul accused Republicans of playing political games with the legislation, saying Assembly Republicans have “instead chosen to prioritize political point counting over justice for survivors and public safety.”

*Marathon, Portage, Wood, Clark, Taylor, Lincoln, Oneida, Langlade, Shawano