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Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) GranteeCity of Memphis (Tennessee)

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In FY2015, SAKI awarded the City of Memphis grants in the amount of $1.9 million. Memphis has used these funds to test unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs) dating back to the 1970s, provide training, fund travel for expert witnesses, purchase equipment and an evidence management system, and provide victim support services.

The City of Memphis received an additional $1,071,394 in SAKI funding in FY2017. This funding has been be used to accomplish the following:

  • Expand investigatory and analytical capacity by providing overtime for investigators, hiring part-time data entry staff, and purchasing new equipment.
  • Hire a SAKI counseling coordinator to oversee staff training in cognitive processing therapy.
  • Share hotline information and engage in outreach to encourage victims to check the status of their SAKs.
  • Maintain victim advocacy positions.

In FY2018, the City of Memphis received $1.5 million from SAKI to submit their partially tested SAKs for testing. They also used this money to add a crime analyst, to assist investigators and prosecutors with their caseloads, and hire a research partner to help evaluate outcomes and develop metrics to regularly update the multidisciplinary task force.

The City of Memphis received $1,899,781 in SAKI funds in FY2019 to continue their ongoing work. With this funding, they will test partially tested SAKs and secondary evidence and also expand testing to all types of DNA, including familial DNA. Additionally, the City of Memphis will use this new funding to assess case outcomes based on testing methodology and type of evidence.

The City of Memphis received $2 million in SAKI funds in FY2020 to continue DNA testing of previously unsubmitted SAKs and relevant secondary evidence. They will also use this new funding to (1) add strategic personnel to assist with processing and tracking SAKs and (2) continue to fund their research partner.

For more information on the specific SAKI awards for this site, see the table below.

City of Memphis Funding

Year Amount Purpose Area
FY2015 $1,909,124 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
FY2017 $1,071,394 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
FY2018 $1,500,000 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
FY2019 $1,899,781 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
FY2020 $2,000,000 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits

Please direct all media inquiries to:

City of Memphis (Tennessee) Grantee Site Representatives

News and Events

Repeat sex offender sentenced in 2003 rape at drive-in, DA says
Fox 13 Memphis Staff , Fox 13 Memphis, Oct 29, 2021
DNA evidence from previously untested SAK led to CODIS hit and subsequent sentencing of man to 25 years in prison without parole Friday for the rape of a woman at a drive-in where he had taken her on their first date in 2003.

Alabama man convicted in 1998 Memphis rape case; rape kit wasn't tested until 2017
Shelby County District Attorney General News Release, Jul 29, 2021
An Alabama man whose DNA linked him to the 1998 rape of a Parkway Village woman was convicted Wednesday by a Criminal Court jury, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.

Memphis man arrested in 2004 rape
WREG Staff, Jul 2, 2021
DNA evidence leads to arrest in rape case from 2004 in Memphis, TN.

Florida convict pleads guilty to 1980s rapes in Tennessee
WKRN.com, Jul 3, 2020
Man pleads guilty to two rapes from 1980s after DNA from previously unsubmitted SAKs was matched to him.

Mid-South Man Identified through Sexual Assault Kit Testing Gets Multiple Life Sentences for Kidnapping and Rape of Six Women Over Seven Years
U.S. DOJ Western District of Tennessee, Dec 16, 2019
Michael Love, 46, a Horn Lake, MS resident, has been sentenced to life in federal prison after having been found guilty of kidnapping and sexually assaulting six women in Memphis and attempting to kidnap and rape a seventh between 2008 and 2015.

Michigan man indicted in 2004 rape in Orange Mound; rape kit wasn’t tested until 2014
LocalMemphis.com, Nov 8, 2019
A 62-year-old Michigan man has been indicted for the rape of a young woman, an attack that occurred in 2004 based on DNA evidence and CODIS.

Louisiana man convicted in 1998 Memphis rape
WREG Staff, News Channel 3, Jul 19, 2019
A registered sex offender from Louisiana was convicted of raping a woman at gunpoint in Memphis in 1998, thanks to a sexual assault kit processed 16 years later.

Midsouth Man Found Guilty of Kidnapping and Raping Six Women Over Seven Years
The United State Attorney's Office Western District, May 17, 2019
A Memphis man has been found guilty of kidnapping and raping six memphis woman and attempting to kidnap and rape a seventh woman based on DNA from a previously unsubmitted sexual assault kit and CODIS.

Midsouth Man Found Guilty of Kidnapping and Raping Six Women Over Seven Years
Western District of Tennessee , The United States Attorney's Office, May 17, 2019
A Memphis man has been found guilty of kidnapping and raping six memphis woman and attempting to kidnap and rape a seventh woman based on DNA from a previously unsubmitted sexual assault kit and CODIS.

Memphis Man Convicted in 2000 Rape After DNA Linked Him to Attack
Courtney Mickens, Fox 13, Oct 15, 2018
DNA has linked a Memphis man to a rape that occurred 18 years ago. The Shelby County District Attorney's Office used a John Doe indictment to prevent the statute of limitations from expiring.

Police: DNA liks 3 deaths to killer who died in 1999
Jim Salter, Associated Press, Oct 6, 2018
Advances in DNA technology link 3 murders and the rape of a 14-year-old girl to an Arkansas man who killed himself during a police standoff in 1999.

Memphis man pleads guilty to rapes in early 2000s after backlogged rape kits are tested
Linda A. Moore, Commercial Appeal, Sep 14, 2018
A man has pleaded guilty to the sexual assaults of three women after DNA testing links him to the crimes. Screen reader support enabled.

SAKI Makes Forensic Magazine Headlines
Forensic Magazine, Jan 16, 2018
As 2018 ushers in another year of coordinated sexual assault response for SAKI grantees, Forensic Magazine reflected on SAKI's legacy to test all unsubmitted sexual assault kits and pursue prosecutions in Cuyahoga County (OH), Memphis (TN), and Phoenix (AZ). SAKI Director and Senior Forensic Policy Advisor at the Office of Justice Programs, Dr. Angela Williamson, was interviewed as part of the magazine's "Rape Kits in America" series. Read all 3 parts for a full picture of today's challenges and successes.

Man Indicted After Sexual Assault Kit Testing Links Him To A Series of Kidnappings & Sexual Assaults
Kim Wheeler, Local Memphis.com, Aug 9, 2017
A man has been caught and indicted on sexual assault, kidnapping, and brandishing a firearm by the Memphis Police Department. Thanks to the Memphis Police Department’s Sex Crimes Bureau and DNA Cold Case unit, Michael Love will be brought to justice.

DNA, Name On Dentures Yield Guilty Plea in Rape Case
Toby Sells, Memphis Flyer, Jul 25, 2017
Evidence on a set of dentures, as well as DNA from an unsolved rape case helped to convict the perpetrator, thanks to funding provided by the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative to test backlogged rape kits. To learn more, read the full article.

Memphis police: Untested rape kits down to 506
Olivia Peterkin, The Commercial Appeal- Tennessee, Jun 20, 2017
In the past month, the Memphis PD has cut their untested backlogged rape kits to 506 down from its initial number of over 12,000. The testing has led to countless convictions. To learn more about the work Memphis PD is doing, read the full article.

Memphis police say all untested rape kits will be sent to lab within 6 months
Kendall Downing, WBRC Fox 6 News, Jan 17, 2017
The last of Memphis, Tennessee's unsubmitted rape kits will be sent to the lab for testing within the first 6 months of 2017. As of December 2013, there were more than 12,000 untested kits. From the kits testing already, 1,728 investigations have been opened, and 385 remain active. In court, so far 12 defendants have been found guilty, 1 found not guilty, 11 trials set, and 139 cases pending in criminal court. To learn more, read the full article.

Testing backlogged rape kits yields 200 indictments
WMC Action News 5, Oct 19, 2016
Two hundred criminals were indicted after Memphis, Tennessee law enforcement personnel tested more than half of their rape kits. In late 2014, the Memphis Police Department discovered thousands of untested rape kits in a storage facility. Currently, 56% of the kits have been tested and resulted in 200 indictments, of which 133 have named suspects and 67 have DNA matches. Read the full article to learn more.

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Our Mission

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.

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