The AG says the FPD destroyed 84 rape kits over a two-year period.
Frederick, Md (KM) The Maryland Attorney General’s Office says the Frederick Police Department destroyed 84 rape kits between July 1st, 2017 to June 30th, 2019. But the Department disputes that.
“That number is actually incorrect. We did not destroy 84 rape kits over the past two years,” says Lt. Kirk Henneberry, the commander of the Frederick Police Criminal Investigation Division. “We actually gave them the number of rape kits that were disposed back to as long ago as 1990.”
He says the Department gave out the wrong number when contacted by the Attorney General’s Office. “We’re actually in the process of getting back in touch with the Office of the Attorney General to give them the correct number once we can determine that exact number.”
The report prepared for the Attorney General’s Office by the Sexual Assault Kit Policy and Funding Committee said that several police departments in Maryland destroyed a total of 270 rape kits during a two-year period.
One was the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, which the Committee’s report says destroyed 26 rape kits.
WFMD News was unable to reach anyone at the Sheriff’s Office for comment
In 2017, a state law prevents law enforcement agencies in Maryland from destroying rape kits unless the defendants have completed their time in prison or have died.
Lt. Henneberry says the Frederick Police Department complies with this law when it comes to rape kits.
Rape kits, also known as sexual assault evidence kits, are actually swabs and samples which are collected from victims during sexual assault cases. They can provide DNA evidence.
Lt. Henneberry says rape kits were destroyed the past for many reasons.
“Usually, the evidence is no longer needed. The case doesn’t have enough facts to support a prosecution. The case has already been adjudicated and the person has served their jail sentence,”: he says.
The story about the destruction of rape kits was reported in The Baltimore Sun.
“The articles in the Sun and the other newspapers looks bad when it says ‘Frederick Police Destroyed 84 Evidence Kits.’ But that’s not the correct number. We gave them the wrong number. Of course, that’s our fault. But we’re working to get them the correct number which is drastically lower, if any,” Lt. Henneberry says.
By Kevin McManus