For nearly two decades, Carol Bart's untested rape kit collected dust in a police evidence room. Her attacker, who kidnapped her from outside her Dallas apartment and repeatedly raped her at knifepoint, had spent time in prison by coincidence, but not for sexually assaulting Bart.
Bart, now a 52-year-old mother of four, fears that among the thousands of backlogged, untested kits pulled from a Detroit police evidence room are stories of women similarly violated only to be forgotten by a justice system that seemingly has placed its priorities and resources elsewhere.
According to some estimates, between 180,000 and 400,000 rape kits remain untested nationwide, despite DNA technology that can swiftly link rapists to crimes.
The kits — 10-inch-long boxes containing swabs, evidence envelopes and information sheets detailing the examination, complications and a list of 24-hour rape crisis centers — can cost $1,200 to $1,500 to test.
Justice delayed is justice denied.