San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr has refused to partner with the district attorney's office to apply for grants to pay for the testing of old rape kits — meaning the identities of hundreds of perpetrators who raped women in the city before 2003 will remain unknown, reports the city’s Chronicle. Prosecutors wanted to apply for two new grants this spring, but needed the agreement of the Police Department to qualify for the money. Suhr declined, saying his staff is “maxed out” trying to address major disarray in the crime lab, which is in possession of the old kits.
The old kits can't lead to prosecutions because the statute of limitations in California for rape is 10 years. But the district attorney and women's advocacy groups say the kits still have value in court and can lead to peace of mind for victims. San Francisco is one of many cities with a large backlog of untested rape kits, a problem that has raised questions about why the kits were allowed to sit for so long.