DENVER - Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill Wednesday requiring testing of all rape kits - a bill that was sparked by a CALL7 investigation.
It “allows rapidly a process to go & come to conclusion that is very emotionally traumatic, and will dramatically increase our probability of apprehending violent criminals,” Hickenlooper told reporters.
A CALL7 investigation in November revealed that police departments around the state fail to test thousands of rape kits, especially when they know the identity of the suspect. Experts say failing to test all rape kits may allow a serial rapist to avoid justice because DNA from the kit would not be tested against evidence from other crimes.
After the CALL7 investigation, state Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, introduced a bill requiring law enforcement to test all rape kits. House Bill 13-1020 overwhelming passed the general assembly and Hickenlooper signed Wednesday.
Kelly Binder, who says she was sexually assaulted in downtown Denver in 2010 but her kit was never tested, told CALL7 Investigator Keli Rabon that she was happy that lawmakers acted to fix the problem.
Binder, who was featured in the November story, told Rabon at the time that failing to test rape kits is unacceptable.
"I think that they need to test every rape kit," she said.
The Colorado Department of Public Safety will now have six months to write rules making sure all rape kits are tested.