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SAKI has awarded the Delaware Criminal Justice Council (CJC) two grants totaling close to $2.2 million, which they have used to convene a multidisciplinary team of experts to enhance the criminal justice system's response to sexual assault in Delaware. The Delaware CJC and SAKI working group have inventoried all unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs) and are testing those that are deemed eligible.
Of the SAKs submitted for testing with the FY2015 grant under the Executive Office for the Governor of Delaware, 28 returned positive for DNA and 10 had profiles that were eligible for the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). The team performed intake investigations on the CODIS hits and then worked to notify victims.
The Executive Office of the Governor of Delaware received additional funding in FY2018. This funding is being used to identify and test SAKs that have secondary evidence, fund the existing site coordinator position, provide overtime funding for Violence Criminal Apprehension Program and CODIS entries, and promote policy development for improved victim engagement.
For more information on the specific SAKI awards for this site, see the table below.
|FY2015||$1,168,662||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2018||$1,000,000||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
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PA Man Jailed In 1993 Newark Sexual Assault Cold Case
1st State Update, Oct 18, 2022
"In October of 2019, then 54-year-old Jeffrey King, was charged by the Newark Police Department in the 26-year-old sexual assault case. King was charged after DNA linked the man to the case, Lt Andrew Rubin said at the time. In November 2017, Newark Police reopened that case. Lead investigator, Detective Taras Gerasimov was assigned to the case for follow-up as part of the Sexual Assault Kit InitiativeI grant-funded initiative. The sexual assault kit, which had not been previously tested for DNA purposes, was sent to a private laboratory to identify any DNA samples that may be present. In August 2019, detectives conducted surveillance on the suspect and were able to collect a discarded item with his DNA. The man’s DNA profile was sent to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science for DNA comparison. The DNA profile was compared to the sample from the suspect in the 1993 incident and they were found to be consistent, according to Rubin."
State Auditor McGuiness: “Delaware Criminal Justice Council Policy Updates Improve Justice for All”
Deleware.gov, Aug 25, 2022
“I am pleased this update coincides with best practices and recommendations identified in our special report, and we are proud of the efforts from the Criminal Justice Council (CJC) and Delaware Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Coordinator Mike Kelly’s efforts to address this critical workload,” said Auditor McGuiness. “These recent policy updates from the CJC are an important step in ensuring victims receive justice, but there is more work to be done,” said Auditor McGuiness."
AG Jennings Applauds CJC Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Policy Changes
Deleware.gov, Aug 2, 2022
"Attorney General Kathy Jennings applauded several policy changes implemented by the Criminal Justice Council as part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen rights for survivors of sexual assault. The new policies establish timelines for the collection, documentation, processing and investigation of assault evidence “kits.” This policy is a result of funding received from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, through the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) program."
State Auditor Kathy McGuiness Releases Report Announcing Delaware Erases Rape Kit Backlog
Kathy McGuiness, news.delaware.gov/, Apr 28, 2022
State Auditor Kathy McGuiness announced today the release of a special report titled “Delaware Erases Rape Kit Backlog.” This report reviewed the State of Delaware’s use of federal grant funds provided by the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) for implementing best practices to clear the backlog of untested rape kits.
Chester man gets 20 years for Wilmington rape spree
DJ McAneny, WDEL, Jan 10, 2020
A Pennsylvania man is heading to prison for 20 years after raping seven women in secluded Wilmington locations over the course of five years, the Delaware Department of Justice announced Friday.
Man Convicted of Three Rapes Including Two Cold Cases Gets Life in Prison
Deleware.gov, Nov 8, 2019
A man convicted of raping 3 women over the course of 7 years will spend the rest of his life in prison. The prosecution occurred thanks to the federally-funded Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI).
PA man linked to 7 Wilmington-area rapes in 5 years during backlogged kit testing pleads guilty
Delaware Department of Justice, Sep 20, 2019
A 38-year-old Pennsylvania man arrested during Delaware's efforts to catch up on untested sexual assault kits pled guilty to rape charges, DOJ officials announced Friday.
Convicted rapist facing life in prison for attacks dating back to 2010
DJ McAneny, WDEL, Jul 20, 2019
A 40-year-old man was convicted on eight counts of rape that occurred in incidents as far back as 2010 based on DNA evidence, according to Delaware Department of Justice officials.
Tackling the rape kit backlog has already gotten results
Harry Themal, Delaware Online, Aug 24, 2018
Testing of previously unsubmitted SAKs has led to charges for a Bear man in connection with two previously unsolved rapes in 2010 and 2014. To further the successes of the SAKI program in Delaware, the Criminal Justice Council is hosting two days of training for investigators in September.
Wilmington 2017 rape suspect tied to 2 previous cold case rapes from 2010, 2014
DJ McAneny, WDEL, Jul 31, 2018
A Wilmington, Delaware man has been implicated in cold case rapes that occurred in 2010 and 2014 after the testing of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative aims to create a coordinated community response that ensures just resolution to sexual assault cases. Through this program, funding is provided to support multidisciplinary community response teams engaged in the comprehensive reform of jurisdictions approaches to sexual assault cases resulting from evidence found in previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.