AP NEWS

Data show some Maryland law enforcement destroyed rape kits

January 9, 2020 GMT

BALTIMORE (AP) — Nearly 300 rape kits have been destroyed by law enforcement departments in Maryland in the past two years, according to newly released data.

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office found that 270 kits were destroyed, The Baltimore Sun reported.

State law passed in 2017 blocks the destruction of most rape kits, according to the newspaper. A new law that went into effect on Jan. 1 requires authorities to test the kits, which are swabs and samples collected in sex assault cases that can provide DNA evidence.

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office destroyed 87 kits, Frederick police destroyed 84 and the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office destroyed 26, the Sun reported citing the Attorney General’s data.

“I cannot answer why the number of destroyed kits by the Harford County Sheriff’s Office would be higher than other jurisdiction’s numbers,” the agency’s spokeswoman Cristie A. Hopkins said in an email to the newspaper.

The destruction of rape kits is banned except for in cases where all suspects have died or have been convicted and served their full term in prison, Baltimore County Del. Shelly Hettleman told the Sun.

Baltimore, Anne Arundel County and Howard County police departments were among law enforcement agencies that had not destroyed any kits between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2019, according to the data reported by the Sun.