Texas rape kit bill awaits Gov. Perry's signature

NEW YORK - A bill requiring all rape kits to be tested in the state of Texas just needs the signature of the state's Governor Rick Perry according to a spokesperson for Ft. Worth Senator Wendy Davis.

The state Senator says she wrote the bill after a Emmy Award winning CBS News investigation uncovered over 5,000 untested rape kits in the San Antonio Police Department.

See the original CBS News report

A 2009 CBS News investigation by Armen Keteyian and Laura Strickler revealed 20,000 rape kits had gone untested nationwide - including more than 5,000 in San Antonio.

In response to the CBS story in 2009, the San Antonio Police Department announced it would test all rape kits where the suspect was unknown.

"We don't want to let any case where someone is sexually assaulted fall through the cracks," said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus in 2009.

But the department has opposed the new Texas rape kit bill that would require them to test rape kits in acquaintance cases saying the testing is not needed in cases where the suspect is known. Other police departments in Texas testified in favor of the bill.

San Antonio changes policy in wake of CBS report

Anthony Spangler, spokesperson for Senator Davis said the bill has received wide support in part because of a series of highly publicized wrongful conviction cases in Texas that were overturned through DNA.

Senator Davis said, "If we have DNA evidence that's been collected by not tested, we are not doing what we need to do for victims or for persons who are accused of committing these crimes."

If Gov. Perry signs the bill, KENS 5 reporter Brian New reports, San Antonio Police Department

will have 30 days to turn over all of its untested kits to the Texas Department of public Safety to be tested.

Will thousands of SAPD rape kits see the light of day?

Texas will become only the second state in the country to test all rape kits. Illinois was the first.

  • Laura Strickler

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