Friday - February 3, 2017 9:00 am

Rape kit backlog continues despite federal help

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This is unacceptable on so many levels. The state of Wisconsin has done a poor job providing justice to victims of sexual assault. A backlog of what are called rape kits has piled up in the office of the Wisconsin Attorney General. In fact, it is estimated that there are some 6000 rape kits which are awaiting testing. These kits, which contain forensic evidence collected from victims at hospitals are to be tested at private laboratories, paid for with grant money. But that isn't happening. The state's top prosecutor, apparently recognizing the need to test more quickly, applied for and received a $4 million grant from the federal government to expedite the testing process and reduce Wisconsin's huge backlog. That was 16 months ago. So these kits have been tested by now, right? Not so much. Although Attorney General Brad Schimel said just days ago that “a few hundred” of the kits have been tested, they now acknowledge that isn't exactly true. In fact, only 9 of these backlogged rape kits have been tested in the months since the federal money arrived. This pace is unacceptable. Wisconsin needs to move more quickly to reduce this backlog, to ensure justice is swiftly provided to victims of sexual assault. That seems the least they can do.

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS
2-24-2017
Bangor
Black River Falls
Blair-Taylor - CLOSED ON FRIDAY
Boscobel
Caledonia - CLOSED FRIDAY...SAC care will be OPEN, but there are no practices or events
Cashton
DeSoto
Fillmore Central - CLOSED ON FRIDAY
G.E.T.
Hillsboro
Houston - CLOSED FRIDAY
Kickapoo
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Mabel/Canton - Mabel Canton and Lyle schools CLOSED FRIDAY
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MN State College SE Tech - campuses in Winona and Red Wing CLOSED, all activities cancelled
North Crawford
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Sparta
Spring Grove - CLOSED FRIDAY
St. Charles - CLOSED FRIDAY...SAC will be OPEN
Tomah
Viroqua
Wauzeka Steuben - Closing at 1PM. All evening activities canceled
Westby
Winona Cotter - CLOSED ON FRIDAY
Winona Parochial - CLOSED ON FRIDAY
Winona Public - closed on FRIDAY