SAKI awarded the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) a grant in the amount of $4 million, which the department will use to pay for unsubmitted SAK testing, create a multidisciplinary team to inventory and track SAKs, provide training and technical assistance, and enhance services and notifications to victims of sexual assault.
In 2016, SAKI awarded the Wisconsin DOJ additional funding to provide additional resources to local sexual assault service providers and increase storage capacity at the Wisconsin State Crime laboratory. The Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, called WiSAKI, takes a comprehensive, statewide approach to addressing the approximately 6,000 unsubmitted sexual assault kits identified through their inventory. In 2017, the Wisconsin DOJ and the Attorney General's Sexual Assault Response Team are conducting an outreach effort to connect victims with their SAKS and work with them while they decide whether to engage with law enforcement.
Find more information and resources from the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.
Funded in 2015, Wisconsin DOJ has used SAKI funding to achieve several goals and milestones:
In 2017, the Wisconsin DOJ received $2 million in additional funding, which will go toward continuing the WiSAKI program and ensuring all unsubmitted SAKs are tested. The Wisconsin DOJ will also invest the money in providing law enforcement officers, SANEs, and victim advocates with victim-centered, trauma-informed training.
Please direct all media inquiries to:
To learn more about their progress, read below for other news and events out of Wisconsin Department of Justice. Explore the materials and resources available for survivors in Wisconsin at byyoursidewi.org.
First Conviction Issued After Testing of Backlogged Sexual Assault Kits
Wisconsin Department of Justice, Aug 29, 2019
A jury in Waupaca County convicted Leroy R. Whittenberger of three counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault, class C Felonies, for the assault of a teenage victim that occurred in July 2012
AG Kaul Announces New Data from the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Screen reader support enabled.
Wisconsin Department of Justice, Jul 31, 2019
For survivors looking for information about their kit, contact the law enforcement agency where the assault was reported, a local sexual assault service provider, or the DOJ Office of Crime Victim Services at 1-800-446-6564.
Test of 2012 rape kit leads to sexual assault charges for Portage County man
Natalie Brophy, Seven Points Journal, Jul 10, 2019
Prosecutors charged a Plover man Monday with sexual assault after DNA from a previously untested rape kit matched his.
Legislation to Prevent Future Backlog of Untested Sexual Assault Kits Introduced with Bipartisan Support
Wisconsin Department of Justice, May 20, 2019
Legislation designed to prevent a future backlog of untested sexual assault kits has been introduced as Assembly Bill 214 and Senate Bill 200 with bipartisan support from 49 legislators in Wisconsin. This bill gives the survivor options and mandates their sexual assault kit be stored for up to 10 years.
AG Kaul Announces Progress in Effort to End Backlog of Sexual Assault Kits
Wisconsin Department of Justice, Apr 12, 2019
Wisconsin Attorney General announces that of the 4,160 tested sexual assault kits, 998 kits have been added to CODIS, 600 cases have been reviewed by DOJ, and in 5 cases charges have been filed.
The By Your Side Campaign wins a Gold Addy Award!
Wisconsin Department of Justice, Feb 18, 2019
The By Your Side Campaign funded by Wisconsin SAKI won a Gold Addy Award at the American Advertising Federation Madison ceremony. The By Your Side Campaign is a survivor outreach campaign for Wisconsin SAKI.
Kentucky man suspected in 11-year-old sexual assault case in Tomah
Steve Rundio, The Tomah Journal, Dec 6, 2018
A suspect is announced in an 11-year-old cold case sexual assault after DNA from a previously unsubmitted sexual assault kit is matched to his using a DNA database.
Arbor Vitae man charged with child sexual assault following tests on 2013 sexual assault kit
Lane Kimble, NEws Watch 12, Dec 3, 2018
DNA evidence from a previously unsubmitted sexual assault kit leads to an arrest in a case from 2013.
Trial date set for man charged in decades-old sexual assault
Fox 11 News, Nov 5, 2018
Trial date is set for the first suspect charged in Wisconsin due to the testing of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits through the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.
DOJ completes review of sexual assault kit tests
Teymour Tomsyck, Channel 3000, Oct 18, 2018
The Wisconsin DOJ has received $1 million SAKI grant to continue their Wisconsin SAKI program. The additional funding will help the WiSAKI program train local prosecutors, compile information from the kits, and support additional analysis of the kits.
AG Schimel Announces Testing Completed on Sexual Assault Kits
Wisconsin Department of Justice, Sep 10, 2018
The Wisconsin Department of Justice has completed testing on all sexual assault kits initially inventoried and designated for testing as part of Wisconsin’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.
AG Schimel Holds Statewide Sexual Assault Response Team Meeting
Wisconsin Department of Justice, Aug 21, 2018
During a recent Statewide Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) meeting, Attorney General Brad Schimel appointed a new co-chair and 16 new members. The SART evaluates the response to sexual assault at the city, county, and state level and makes recommendations to improve the response to sexual assault.
Rape kit leads to new charges
Austin Montgomery, Beloit Daily News, Jun 15, 2018
Testing resulting from Wisconsin's Sexual Assault Kit Initiative leads to charges in a case from 2000. The man charged is a serial sexual offender.
As state clears sex assault kit backlog, teams work to empower victims
Sarah Thomsen, WBAY, May 29, 2018
The Wisconsin DOJ announced the last batch of previously unsubmitted SAKs in the state has been sent for testing and will be completed by the end of 2018.
Rape kit testing leads to charges against Marion man in assault
Alison Dirr and Keegan Kyle, Post Crescent, Apr 25, 2018
A Marion man has been charged with sexual assault after the testing of previously unsubmitted SAKs in Wisconsin. This is the second prosecution stemming from the testing of previously unsubmitted SAKs by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
DOJ to Clear Sexual Assault Testing Backlog by End of 2018
usnews.com, Nov 2, 2017
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel announced that the Department of Justice will process all previously submitted sexual assault kits by the end of 2018 with the assistance of federal funding provided by the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.
Testing could begin next week on 247 Green Bay rape kits
Doug Schneider, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Jun 2, 2017
Green Bay Police received good news when they were told they could begin sending their backlogged rape kits to the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory in Madison, WI for testing. To learn more about the backlog in Wisconsin and what the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant funding is doing to remediate the issue, read the full article.
SAKI TTA Webinar - Conducting a Large-Scale, Multi-Jurisdictional Inventory
SAKI TTA, Mar 21, 2017
Join SAKI TTA for an upcoming webinar focusing on the Wisconsin Department of Justice's comprehensive statewide inventory of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits. This webinar will discuss the inventory steps the project team took and what they learned throughout the process. This webinar will also touch on how their methodology could be applied to other states conducting similar efforts.
WI DOJ Launches Program To Address Backlog Of Untested Sexual Assault Evidence Kits
Laurel White, Wisconsin Public Radio, Jan 30, 2017
A new initiative by the Wisconsin Department of Justice and a sexual assault prevention group aims to decrease the backlog of sexual assault evidence kits in the state. The initiative, called “By Your Side,” reaches out to survivors of sexual assault who have had kits collected and provides connections to support services. Read the full story or visit www.byyoursidewi.org to learn more.
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.