Contact: Melanie Conklin, 608-260-2409
“How much longer will it take for survivors of sexual assault and rape to see justice?”
MADISON — Attorney General Brad Schimel announced today that the thousands of untested rape kits that had piled up under his watch were at long last moved to a private laboratory for analysis, nearly three years after Schimel received $4 million to test them.
“How much longer will it take for survivors of sexual assault and rape to see justice?” asked Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair Martha Laning. “After years of ignoring this mounting public safety crisis, Schimel has decided to effectively move these kits from one shelf to another shelf. This is not leadership–this is more of Brad Schimel dragging his feet on an issue that should have demand his full attention long ago.”
In Schimel’s first two years in office, only 9 of the 6,800 untested kits were tested despite Schimel receiving over $5 million in grants from federal authorities to address the backlog. Schimel has made numerous excuses on his handling of the backlog, going so far as to claim that there was no backlog, a false statement that received a rare “Pants on Fire” rating from Politifact.
“There’s no telling how much longer it will take for the thousands of women, men and children awaiting justice to find closure in their criminal investigations, and that’s disturbing,” added Laning. “We Wisconsinites deserve an attorney general who will prioritize our safety, who will step up to the job and follow through on his promises, and Josh Kaul is that person. Josh will bring the change and new leadership to the DOJ that Wisconsin desperately needs.”