Albuquerque poised to clear rape kit backlog | KOB 4

Albuquerque poised to clear rape kit backlog

Joy Wang
October 15, 2019 10:15 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A new grant puts the Albuquerque Police Department on track to clear a rape kit backlog.

“My detectives, right now, they have an average of about 75 cases at a time, but we have been very blessed with a lot of grants to assist us with civilians,” said Sgt. Amanda Wild, who joined APD in 2009.

A new $1 million grant helps fund those positions and provide support with victim advocacy.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller has made it one of his mission to clear the backlog.

“We knew this was a huge problem, and I think the challenge had always been that it was never prioritized to actually clear the backlog,” Keller said. “It was sort of, ‘well let's do an extra hundred if we have, you know, year-end resources, we'll work on it.’ We said, ‘No, we are going to honor victims. We're going to restore faith in the process.’”

The results show that 1,000 kits had a positive DNA test.

About 450 of them matched a DNA database of people arrested for felonies. There were 178 serial offenders identified.

Timothy Bachicha and Nicolas Williams are two suspects with multiple cases pending.

APD officials said both of them have been linked to rape kits.

“I think this is also very, very critical in restoring faith in that judicial system,” Keller said. “What this backlog also did is told victims we're not believing you. It told individuals in the system that they can get away with it. Both of those messages are being corrected by clearing this backlog.”


Joy Wang

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