An internal review of sexual assault cases in Minneapolis turned up an estimated 1,700 untested rape kits from as far back as the 1990s — a backlog that officials say could take at least two years to clear.
…The latest count far surpasses the 194 untested kits reported during an 2015 audit, part of what Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called an “unjustified mistake” that left years of potential evidence sitting in police storage.
…The department’s sex crimes unit is still conducting a final count to determine how many kits remain, which comes amid a national reckoning over sexual harassment and assault.
…Minnesota police frequently struggled to investigate cases of sex assault in the years reviewed, often failing to interview witnesses, collect evidence or even assign detectives.
…Under the state’s rape law enacted last year, police have 10 days to retrieve unrestricted exam kits from health care facilities and 60 days to submit them for testing. They are also required, when asked, to inform victims about the status of their kits and any findings.