More Rape Kits Than Thought Remain Untested At HPD

Source: Zain Shauk / Houston Chronicle

The Houston Police Department‘s backlog of untested rape kits totals between 6,000 and 7,000 – 50 percent more than what officials previously acknowledged, according to a memo from Chief Charles McClelland.

HPD for years has insisted that the backlog of untested rape kits was around 4,000. The details from the chief’s memo confirm a Houston Chronicle report that the backlog likely was far greater.

The backlog also is likely to continue to grow. According to McClelland’s memo, HPD receives some 930 new rape kits each year. HPD officials previously have said the department is able to test only 30 to 40 a month.

A backlog that could include as many as 7,000 untested rape kids should be a cause for major concern, said Johnny Mata, an activist for the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice.

“There’s people in jail that may be innocent,” Mata said. “There’s women that may be fearing for their lives. It’s unacceptable.”

To read this article in its entirety visit the Houston Chronicle.