Inventories show more than 600 untested rape kits on Neighbor Islands

Inventories show more than 600 untested rape kits on Neighbor Islands

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Kauai, Big Island and Maui police departments have more than 600 untested rape kits, according to new figures reported to the state Attorney General's office.

The Honolulu Police Department has not yet reported its number of untested rape kits to the state, though HPD officials have previously put the figure at 1,500.

Under a bill signed into law this year, Hawaii police departments were required to conduct an inventory of its untested rape kits.

In addition to the number of untested rape kits, departments are being asked to provide the dates the forensic evidence was collected.

The data is being provided to the state Attorney General's office, which will produce a report for the state Legislature in the upcoming session.

In a news release this week, the office said that the Hawaii County Police Department had reported 309 untested rape kits. Sixty kits, meanwhile, had been tested for DNA evidence.

The oldest rape kit Hawaii County has in storage – which dates to 1998 – has not been tested.

Meanwhile, the Maui Police Department said it had 152 untested rape kits. Sixteen rape kits had been tested, MPD said.

Of the 166 rape kits, the oldest dates to 1999. It was submitted for testing in April 2000 and testing was completed in January 2001.

On Kauai, there are 151 untested rape kits, the oldest of which dates to 2001. Kauai police said 74 kits have been tested.

The issue of untested rape kits is a national one, and advocates for sexual assault victims have called on police departments to adopt across-the-board testing.

Others, meanwhile, argue that the rape kits need only be tested if doing so is crucial to a case.

In releasing the new figures this week, state Attorney General Doug Chin also announced that the state had received a $2 million federal grant to help cover some of the costs of testing.

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