Thousands of untested rape kits sit on shelves across the country

Julie Weil helps get funding for rape kit backlog

In January 2003, Michael Siebert, dubbed the "daycare rapist" sat in a Miami courtroom facing a judge.

Siebert was arrested in connection with several rape cases in South Florida. One of his victims was Julie Weil, a Jupiter, Florida mother of two.

She and her two kids were abducted in October 2002.

Siebert took them deep into the Everglades and abused her for hours as Julie's children, three and 8-months old at the time, were forced to watch.

"He raped me four times that day," Weil said. "It was completely devastating."

Sibert told the courtroom he didn't commit these crimes. But, his trail of DNA told a much different story.

Investigators in Julie's case were able to find a small piece of Siebert's DNA on Julie's shirt.

"DNA was very, very important," Weil said. "It saved my life."

The Contact 5 Investigators have learned that DNA evidence, when collected in a case, is not always automatically tested. DNA testing is costly and time consuming and if investigators or prosecutors don't think it's a strong case, the testing may never occur.

This is especially true with rape cases. It's estimated that as many as 400,000 rape kits have never been processed. Victim advocates call this the rape kit backlog.

Tuesday at 11 on NewsChannel 5, find out how many rape kits are sitting on shelves in our area.

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