As a part of an Ohio sexual assault kit testing initiative, state crime labs are processing thousands of rape kits submitted from around the state, including ones belonging to unnamed patients who choose not to report a crime, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. With results coming in, police and prosecutors will have to decide what to do with the potential leads. Try to track down victims who chose, sometimes decades ago, not to seek justice? Or possibly let rapists, even serial ones, go unpunished?
So far, the testing of kits often referred to as anonymous or Jane Doe rape kits, has resulted in 34 DNA profiles and 13 hits or matches to potential suspects. Organizations that advocate for sexual assault victims are concerned that testing the kits without permission or knowledge of the people who sought treatment could breed distrust and prevent rape victims from seeking medical treatment. The evidence now being tested was collected over decades from patients who allowed medical staff to take swabs and samples from their bodies.