The backlog of untested rape kits in Houston is even worse than previously believed, reports the city’s Chronicle. For years, the Houston Police Department has conceded about 4,000 untested rape kits are stored in a property room freezer, but a recent inventory shows there are potentially thousands more containing never-examined evidence from sexual assault cases.
According to department officials and figures compiled for a grant awarded to HPD from the National Institute of Justice this year, more than 3,000 kits stored in air-conditioned sections of the property room may not have been tested. This is in addition to the 4,220 untested kits in a property room freezer. The estimate of additional kits is based on a random sampling. Not only can untested sexual assault evidence cause delays in justice for rape victims, it also can lead to the conviction of innocent people.