AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

Untested Grady Memorial Hospital rape kits slated for DNA analysis

Sexual assault evidence that Grady Memorial Hospital had locked away file cabinets will start undergoing DNA testing in about six months, the director of Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab system said.

Some 1,200 to 1,400 packages of this untested evidence, stored as what are known as “rape kits,” have arrived at the agency’s labs in recent months. Most are from Grady, which turned over its rape kits last year after an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation found that it had been keeping them from police on the mistaken belief that federal privacy regulations required it. Some date back to 2000.

GBI struck an agreement with an outside lab to test the kits for about $900 each, crime lab director George Herrin told AJC reporter Rhonda Cook. Results will be checked against a federal DNA database.

“We hope that we will get DNA profiles that come back with something positive,” Herrin said.

So far, Grady is the only hospital to have turned over untested rape kits to GBI. The remaining untested evidence came from Athens police and other smaller agencies.

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