Switch to ADA Accessible Website
Orlando Criminal Lawyer

Testing of Backlogged Rape Kits in Florida Leads to New Suspects Being Arrested Nearly 30 Years Later: Why This Is Problematic


Florida has recently begun testing thousands of rape kits that have been in storage for almost 30 years, leading to the arrest of a number of suspects accused of sexual battery and other sex crimes. The process usually involves the initial tests providing investigators with a name, which investigators then use to search the FBI’s DNA database. However, there are a number of concerns associated rape kits, especially those that have been in storage for many years, as we describe below.

Why Florida Law Mandates That Rape Kits Be Tested Right Away

Florida law mandates that rape kits be tested within 30 days after they have been administered unless there is an objection from the sexual assault survivor. In fact, some jurisdictions require that they be destroyed as early as six months after they are initially stored, and the shortest statute of limitations in the U.S. is three years (although there is no state of imitations when it comes to rape). This is in part because there are a whole host of proof- and evidence-related issues when it comes to rape kits, which many assume are able to provide proof of rape through documentation of injury, however, the ‘proof of force’ isn’t necessarily easy to distinguish from those that result from certain types of consensual sex. Take one case where an innocent man was convicted because he and the victim had had a consensual sexual relationship around the same time that the victim was raped, which accounted for the presence of his DNA and thus his eventual wrongful conviction.

In fact, a rape kit cannot prove that rape occurred, or whether consent was given, and when victims’ bodies are treated as crime scenes, this is problematic, as best evidence collection practices mandate that crime scenes be completely undisturbed, which is impossible when it comes to bodies, especially when it comes to victims who have just experienced a sexual violation.

Still, what these kits do accomplish is providing a jury with the same uninformed assurance that most-all forensic evidence always has, regardless of how reliable it actually is. In reality, if too much time has passed before a victim had a rape kit exam performed, or if the kit evidence was improperly collected, handled, or stored, the rape kit is not reliable in terms of yielding actual DNA evidence and DNA profile of an assailant cannot be developed.

Contact Our Florida Sex Crime Defense Attorneys with Any Questions

If you have been accused of a sex crime as the result of a rape kit that has been in storage, you are innocent until proven guilty. Our Orlando sex crimes attorneys believe that you deserve the very best in defense and your constitutional rights must be protected, especially when it comes to the risks that can come with dated forensic evidence, including wrongful conviction. Contact us at the Baez Law Firm today to find out more.








  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Miami Office

1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1410
Miami, FL 33131
Office: 305-999-5100
Fax: 305-999-5111

Orlando Office

250 N Orange Ave, Suite 750
Orlando, FL 32801
Office: 407-705-2626
Fax: 407-705-2625

Email Us

Fields Marked * Are required

DISCLAIMER: Completing and submitting this form or otherwise merely contacting The Baez Law Firm or any individual at the firm will not establish an attorney/client relationship. Our firm cannot represent you until we determine that there would be no conflict of interest and that we are otherwise able to accept representation of your case. Please do not send any information or documents until a formal attorney/client relationship has been established through an interview with an attorney and you have been given authorization in the form of an engagement letter with The Baez Law Firm. Any information or documents sent via this form or otherwise prior to your receipt of an engagement letter will not be treated as confidences, secrets, or protected information of any nature. Submitting information regarding your potential case will not bar The Baez Law Firm from representing or continuing to represent a person or entity whose interest are adverse to your in condition with your case.

protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy - Terms
Please review the highlighted fields. They are required.
DISCLAIMER: This website contains information about The Baez Law Firm that includes testimonial statements from persons who are familiar with the firm's services. The testimonials shown are not necessarily representative of every person's experience with us. Testimonials from every client are not provided. As no two situations or persons are identical, the facts and circumstances of your situation may differ from those for which testimonials are shown. This website also includes information about some of the past results that we have obtained for our clients. Not all results are provided, and the results shown are not necessarily representative of all results obtained by us. No two situation are exactly alike; every person's situation is unique and the outcome for each person depends on the individual facts.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2015 - 2024 Baez Law Firm. All rights reserved.
This law firm website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab Contact Form Tab