Florida has backlog of 13,000+ rape test kits

Posted at 11:15 AM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-04 23:01:09-05

There are over one thousand untested rape kits in Palm Beach County according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

According to the new report released Monday morning, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office has 938 untested kits.

There are thousands of other untested kits at other agencies around Florida also, according to the report.

"I think nothing will change what happened to me. But the fact I was able to put him away with DNA evidence really gave me a piece of mind I wouldn't have otherwise," rape victim Julie Weil said.

Weil and her two children were abducted and abused for hours.

The children were forced to watch while their mother was raped.

Since then, Weil has made it her life mission to educate others and to push for the testing of all rape kits.

"938 people in Palm Beach County who took the time out to go and have this rape kit done. When you submit for a rape kit it is not like on tv where it is done in a half an hour. It is a three hour long process where you are being re violated all over again," Weil said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement report says they need at least eight million dollars to pay to test the backlog.

Its money legislators like Dave Kerner will have to come up with in Tallahassee.

"These victims put their emotions on the line. They relive the experience. The least the state of Florida can do is properly fund the system so the results of that kit are utilized properly," Kerner said.

A spokeswoman with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says one of the reasons they don't process the rape kits is if the victim doesn't want to press charges.

She says there are also financial and manpower restrictions.

"Even if you know whose DNA is on those swabs and you know their identity you need to run them through the system. Because someday they might not be an acquaintance rapist. Someday they might go on like in my case to abduct four innocent women and children and rape them too," Weil said.

There are also questions about the accuracy of the report.

West Palm Beach Police have five hundred untested rape kits according to the report.

But detectives there say that number is incorrect.

They've been sending out the kits for testing through a new FBI grant.