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Schimel says rape kit testing complete, Kaul says delays unacceptable

Mitch Reynolds

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Wisconsin’s attorney general is taking a victory lap over clearing out a backlog of rape kits in the state.

Brad Schimel, however, shouldn’t be all that proud, says Josh Kaul, who is running against the attorney general in this fall’s elections.

Kaul says the pace of testing using $4 million in grants to get the job done was nothing to be proud of, adding that there are still over 1,200 kits on which testing results have not been confirmed.

“About 2.5 years after the grants were awarded , Wisconsin had tested fewer kids than some other jurisdictions,” Kaul said. “I believe nevada had tested twice as many kids and (Oregon) had tested three times as many.”

Kaul says Schimel has “mismanaged the state crime labs.”

Monday, Schimel announced the state Department of Justice has finished testing thousands of unanalyzed sexual assault evidence kits dating back to the 1980s.

This, I think, was clearly mishandled by our AG,” Kaul said. “The consequences are that justice has been delayed for survivors and that people who have committed a serious violent offense have remained on the streets longer than they should have.”

Schimel started a project in 2016 to test about 4,000 kits sitting on Wisconsin police department and hospital shelves. Schimel says it took time to inventory the kits and find private labs to analyze them. He had promised testing would be complete by the end of 2018.

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