Each case was reviewed by FCSO detectives & State’s Attorney’s Office.
Frederick, Md (KM) The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office has responded to a report from the Maryland Attorney’s Office that it destroyed 26 rape kits over the past two years. In a statement, the agency says it disposed of 23 sexual assault evidence kits in accordance with the law. Four additional kits fell under the jurisdiction of another law enforcement agency, and were transferred.
Rape kits, also known as sexual assault evidence kits, are actually swabs and samples collected from rape cases which can provide DNA evidence.
Earlier this week, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, citing a report from the Sexual Assault Kit Policy and Funding Committee, said nearly 300 rape kits were destroyed by police departments around the state between July 1st, 2017 and June 30th, 2019. It said 84 were disposed of the Frederick Police Department, and 26 were destroyed by the Sheriff’s Office.
Lt. Kirk Henneberry with Frederick Police said the agency sent the Attorney General’s Office the number of rape kits destroyed since the 1990’s. In a statement, the department says it disposed of ten rape kits over a two-year period. It also says a supervisory detective has been assigned to review why these kits were destroyed. He says the Frederick Police provided the wrong number of rape kits destroyed, and will be reaching out to the Attorney General’s Office to provide the correct information.
A new law which took affect in October, 2017, mandates that rape kits be retained by police departments for 20 years with two exceptions: the defendants have completed their prison sentences, or the defendants have died.
The Sheriff’s Office says 23 cases were reviewed by its detectives and the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office to make sure they were no longer relevant to any prosecution.
By Kevin McManus