Resources boosted to bring charges linked to Detroit rape kits

Detroit will soon get more help to get rapists off the streets as four branches of law enforcement will join forces to investigate and prosecute leads that come from DNA evidence in the Motor City.

Kalimah Johnson works as an advocate for rape victims. She's the head of the Sasha Center, a resource center for sexual assault victims. She knows their story all-to-well because it's her story, too.

"I'm a survivor of sexual assault three times. One in the context of my family, one while on a date and one in the context of a boyfriend. As a result that's why we do this work," Johnson said.

Johnson says none of her perpetrators were brought to justice. That's why she says she is pleased to learn about the expansion of the Wayne County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force.

The task force is a group charged with the investigation and prosecution of any leads from DNA testing of thousands of rape kits found in a Detroit Police Department storage facility in 2009. Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the necessity of getting the suspects off the streets of Detroit is huge.

"Certainly when you go back to 2009 and you look at the untested rake kits and it translate we have violent suspects at large so this is an opportunity to take it to next level." Detroit Police Chief James Craig said.

The Task Force is comprised of officials from the Attorney General's Office, Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, Michigan State Police, and Detroit Police Department. Craig said the task force is made possible by millions of dollars in state funding. 

The task force is expected to operate in its expanded capacity until September of 2017. Many survivors of sexual assault say they're glad to see the expansion because it means hopefully the perpetrators will be brought to justice.

"Sexual assault has no place in our city in our state no place in this country," said Craig Tuesday.

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