For years, 94 untested rape kits were left sitting in an evidence room refrigerator at the Hollywood, Fla., Police Department, reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The kits, some dating back to 2005, are now in the spotlight as the department’s top brass reviews what went wrong and why. The kits were discovered shortly after Frank Fernandez, who took over as chief in August, ordered an audit of the entire department, including the property and evidence room where the rape kits were found.
Of the 162 rape kits discovered in the fridge, 94 were never taken to the Crime Lab at the Broward Sheriff’s Office for testing, records show. The kits are being tested now. Fernandez said no mistakes were made by staff because they followed the protocol that existed at the time. Public Defender Howard Finkelstein says he plans to review the cases. “What if the tests show they’ve got the wrong guy in jail?” Finkelstein said.