Thursday, October 06, 2016

Good news over a thousand women who have been raped in Alaska, somebody might actually start to investigate your case now.

Courtesy of KTUU:  

The state of Alaska is getting a $1.1 million federal grant to test backlogged sexual assault evidence in possession of state troopers. 

Gov. Bill Walker's office announced Tuesday the U.S. Justice Department funds will be used to process more than 1,000 sexual assault kits. 

Officials say that altogether law enforcement agencies across the state are in possession of about 3,000 unprocessed kits. Amanda Price, Walker's senior crime policy advisor, says the Anchorage Police Department is among those exploring options on processing their backlogs of sexual assault kits. 

Officials say the trooper kits will be transferred to the state crime lab for processing.

I've heard of justice moving slowly, but seriously WTF?

Actually I know what the fuck because I asked about this several years ago.

What I heard then was that the state simply did not have the resources to process the unusually high number of rape kits that come in seemingly every month. Because of that the chances of a woman's rapist being prosecuted in Alaska was incredibly low unless they actually killed her or there were numerous witnesses.

Some of these 3,000 unprocessed rape kits date back as far as 1984, which means that some women who were victimized have lived with the repercussions for thirty years without seeing justice done, or even seeing an attempt to locate their attacker.

And since many of these women live in villages that means that they could literally be living next door or even in the same house as their rapist knowing that they remain untouched by the law and free to prey on them again anytime they see fit.

So for any of you who wonder why so many women do not report rape in Alaska, I think you now have your answer.


  1. Anonymous3:20 AM

    Prior to these women were the women that did not even get a rape kit. Why? because it was her fault, she ask for it, boys will be boys. Unfortunately we have a nasty world with a few deplorable con artist, bullies, liars, rapist and idiots.

    1. Anonymous12:55 PM

      Rape is God's Will

      They got a way to shut it all down

  2. Anonymous3:33 AM

    Svu did an episode about back logs because Marisa discovered most cities have a huge file of them. NYC has 10s of 1000s.

  3. Anonymous3:54 AM

    What do you think about when you hear the words rape and Alaska?

    Paying Mayor Sarah Palin for her damn rape kits.

    The Wasilla genius thought in order to save town funds, let's make the literally poor little girls and women in Wasilla pay for Sarah's damn rape kits. The victims could not afford Sarah's kits so the rapists were free to continue to rape.

    Well the genius used the town funds she saved from the rape kits to purchase her new mayor-mobile and to redecorate her mayor's office to look like a bordello.

    By the time Mayor Sarah left office she left the town in huuge debt because she had her new hockey rink built down the road from her house but the genius forgot to purchase part of the land her hockey rink was built on (Sarah Palin Curse). The land owner held out for a higher price which made Sarah's hockey rink budget sky rocket.

    The genius Mayor Sarah Palin saved money by not paying for rape kits but authorized overpaying the building of her new hockey rink on private property.

    Way to go Mayor Sarah Palin

    1. Anonymous5:33 AM

      Sarah robbed the roads fund to pay to decorate her "bordello."

    2. Anonymous10:43 AM

      I know this is a popular meme here but I don't think it actually holds up. It was the police chief who came up with the idea, for six months, insurance was billed, not the victims, and it was 5-14K in annual savings.

      We've seen countless Internet and e-mail claims that Sarah Palin forced women to pay for their own forensic testing when reporting a rape. Unlike some claims about Palin, this one has some merit, though Palin's precise role is unclear. Here's the story:

      In 2000, complaints about this practice in rural cities including Wasilla prompted the Alaska Legislature to pass a bill preventing alleged victims of sexual assault from being billed for forensic tests. It was signed into law by then-Gov. Tony Knowles. Palin had been the mayor of Wasilla for four years at the time, and a local paper reported that the Wasilla police chief, Charlie Fannon, defended the practice, saying he had billed women and their insurance companies for these tests rather than placing a "burden" on taxpayers:

      Palin wasn't quoted in any news coverage at the time. More recently, after she was picked to be Sen. John McCain's vice presidential running mate, her spokeswoman Maria Comella told USA Today that the governor "does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test." Comella declined to answer questions about when Palin found out about the practice and what, if anything, she tried to do about it. Fannon, who is no longer the chief of police, has not spoken to the press either.

      Eric Croft, a former Alaska state representative who sponsored the 2000 legislation, told CNN that "I find it hard to believe that for six months a small town, a police chief, would lead the fight against a statewide piece of legislation receiving unanimous support and the mayor not know about it." But Croft, a Democrat, says he does not recall discussing the issue with Palin at the time.

      Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman (May 23, 2000): "In the past we've charged the cost of exams to the victim's insurance company when possible. I just don't want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer," Fannon said.

      According to Fannon, the new law will cost the Wasilla Police Department approximately $5,000 to $14,000 a year to collect evidence for sexual assault cases

  4. Anonymous7:17 AM

    Sounds like Alaska needs to start allocating funds for this or start having a state income tax to pay for these things.
    Sorry, but I already support Alaska with MY tax dollars and now you need more to do basic police tests?!

    1. Anonymous12:55 PM

      Butt most of the ReTHUGlicans think Rape is God's Will and you get a box of cookies!

  5. Anonymous8:17 AM

    Alaska - Anchorage especially - has a horrible judicial system and has for a number of years!

    Think of all of these rapes that have occurred in Anchorage especially (and throughout the state) with no one ever being held responsible for them. Minorities, the homeless, native Alaskans, etc. have been raped and no justice accomplished for many of them. It is sad and frightening to say the least!

    I truly hope these tests - DNA - from sperm samples - lead authorities to the men doing the rapes and that they are taken to trial. (But, I fear the women that were raped probably will not want to bring their specific cases to the forefront after so many years and I'll wager that is what the judicial system folks in Anchorage are betting on!)

    When did the samples start piling up? What year was the initial beginning? Was it under Dan Sullivan's administrations in Anchorage? I'm curious. How far back do we do (year?) that they began stockpiling them?

    1. Anonymous9:05 AM

      Gryphen mentions from the article that some of the kits are as old as from 1984.

    2. Anonymous10:16 AM

      Holy shit! It's far worse than I thought! I'm appalled at the criminal justice system in Anchorage and the State of Alaska!

      Nail those rapists from the past and go after ANY that commit the crime in the present. It's waaay past time, Alaska justice system! Prosecute ALL rapists!

    3. Anonymous10:36 AM

      Before we start gathering pitchforks and torches, let's remember that there was no such thing as DNA testing in 1984 or until the mid-90s for most police departments. Mandatory DNA sampling of convicted criminals dates to the late 2000's. It actually makes sense to wait a few years for the database to build up before testing these kits.

      The judicial system doesn't have a dog in this fight. It's a local and state law enforcement issue. It's their budget that has to pay for this.

      This sort of testing is $1500 or more per sample depending on how degraded the sample is. When you do the math you realize why lots of jurisdictions have this problem. Even if you get a hit you then have the challenge of prosecuting a 30 year old rape. I don't think that anyone has been ignoring these kits, it just took this long for all of these police departments to finally get their hands around this problem and start looking at solutions. The sad reality is that it comes down to money and allocation of resources.

    4. Anonymous12:18 PM

      You are incorrect, evidence would have been saved in 1984 and could now have DNA tests run from that evidence. And it would be as easy to solve a 30 yr old rape as it has been for countless of cold cases that have been solved with DNA testing. But obviously a rape, when it's 30 yrs old, means nothing to you. And a state income tax would solve the issue of funds.

    5. Anonymous2:26 PM

      I'm not disagreeing with you. What I was pointing out was that until the mid-90's there was no DNA testing anywhere. Remember that was an issue in the OJ trial this "new" DNA testing? So complaining about the first 10 year lag is not a valid criticism. So then, what do you compare the DNA to? Until states and the feds started to routinely gather DNA from convicted felons around 2009-10 there was no database to compare the DNA results to. It's not that a 30 year old rape means nothing to me, just that there were practical problems with getting a DNA match for most of those 30 years. A state income tax would solve the backlog that the troopers have but not the backlog that exists in the larger city police departments. I know, we all want to blame someone for this and toss a wad of money at the problem and then feel good about ourselves because we did something to stop this injustice (or at least denial of justice). My point was that, as is too often the case, the problem and the solution are often more nuanced than our reflexive reaction.Yes, in a perfect world there would be money to solve every crime but in the real world unfortunately, there isn't.

    6. Anonymous2:40 PM

      10:36 AM Sorry, but you sound as naïve as Hell about this matter as it relates to Anchorage!

      Who and which administration (per your analogy) stopped the funds from flowing in that rapist/kits/direction? I think it was done intentionally and 'money' is now being made the baloney excuse.

      Time to get the MANY crimes corrected/fixed and rapists prosecuted for their crimes.

      Rape has been 'allowed' in Anchorage and it's way past time it is stopped!

      There have been too many victims w/zero justice and that is now THE CRIME!

    7. Anonymous3:36 PM

      I don't think anyone "stopped" it in the sense that at one time they tested every kit and then they started being more selective. They were always selective. What they did back in the day was gather evidence and if they didn't have a suspect to compare it to (pre-DNA was a protein match)they just stored it. That is what they did with all physical evidence. We have this fantasy that every police department has some CSI department that is running tests in in-house labs, tracking down suspects, and getting confessions within 42 minutes. That's not how it has ever worked. The reality is that most sexual assault victims (75%) know their attacker and unless they name them there is not a very good chance he will be brought to justice.

      If it goes back to 84 in Anchorage I guess that was the Knowles administration.

      What possible motive would Anchorage as a Muni have to not investigate sexual assaults? Same question with the police department? Maybe I am naive but I don't see the upside of a conspiracy to intentionally deny victims justice. This would have spanned 8 mayors over 32 years? That just seems so farfetched. The fact is that neither of us know what the truth is and are looking at this through our own cognitive filters. Given that, we won't ever agree.

  6. Frosty no longer AK9:51 AM

    Alaska is #1 in rape in the country. There should be NO untested rape kits anywhere, but ESPECIALLY in AK. Women are not safe in AK.

    All that extra money the Tundra Turd gave away at PFD time one year could have tested every one of those kits and had lots left over for future kits. And get the perverts housed where they could only be a menace to each other.

    1. Anonymous2:52 PM

      Bottom line! Sarah Palin is the main culprit in this matter - she started it and the samples have just kept accumulating.

      Alaska is the worst, nationally, when it comes to rape. Stop the horrible act and prosecute the rapists Anchorage cops! Do something! This record of ours (among others) is an embarrassment for the State of Alaska, its residents and the nation! Appalling!

    2. Anonymous4:06 PM

      in 1984 Sarah Palin was at University of Idaho. I don't think she "started it".

      Alaska has a very high sexual assault rate - why? A big part of it is the disproportionate rate that natives are victims. 61% of rape victims are native. The only other state that is even close to Alaska is also rural with a large native population - South Dakota. The deeper reasons for this sad disproportionate impact of sexual assault on native women is a topic for another day but the culprit has deep psychosocial roots and nothing to do with Sarah Palin.

      Another reason that might impact it is the abysmal 11% conviction rate in Anchorage.

      Here is a wonderful article on what happens in rural Alaska and what some of the possible causes are. It's heartbreaking but very well written.

  7. Griff, I have read a number of your posts, over the years, on this important issue. I am of course appalled.

    Thank you for standing up for justice for the victims of sexual assault. I hope this extra funding does some good.

  8. Anonymous3:01 PM

    It's the same in a lot of states, and we need more money allocated to solving these cases. My first thought was "Great, the Anchorage Police Department" is going to dig into the backlog.
    Not all cops are corrupt, my bil is a detective for internal affairs, and you'd be amazed at how evidence is poorly handled, the chain of possession is messed up, and so on. Yes, DNA and science have advanced, and if it punishes one unsolved rapist's case, the money spent is an investment.


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