Schimel waits until 2 months before tough re-election bid to finishing testing of rape kit backlog

Sep 10, 2018

For Immediate Release
September 10, 2018
Contact: Courtney Beyer, courtneyb@wisdems.org

Schimel waits until 2 months before tough re-election bid to finishing testing of rape kit backlog

In first two years in office, Schimel tested only 9 of 6,000 plus kits

MADISON — Attorney General Brad Schimel, who managed to test only 9 rape kits in his first two years in office, is declaring victory today nearly four years after he was first made aware of Wisconsin’s over 6,000 untested rape kits.

“In the years it took Brad Schimel to simply do his job, survivors of sexual violence were denied justice and violent offenders were allowed to walk the streets of our communities,” said Courtney Beyer, Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson. “Schimel doesn’t care one bit about keeping Wisconsin safe. What Brad Schimel does care about is getting re-elected so he can push the far-right agenda of his special interest backers.”

These are the facts on Brad Schimel’s botching of the Wisconsin rape kit backlog:

  • Brad Schimel outright lied about the backlog, claiming there was none. This excuse-making earned him a “Pants on Fire” rating from Politifact Wisconsin.

  • Schimel “wait[ed] for a bargain price” before he began testing kits.Instead of asking the legislature for additional staffing or increasing capacity at Wisconsin’s crime labs, Schimel limited public resources to the testing of the backlog until out-of-state grants came in.

  • He stood in the way of efforts to expedite testing. Schimel shut down efforts from the state legislature to provide the DOJ with more funding to test the backlog. One bill that Schimel shot down would have required all untested kits be sent to a crime lab within 30 days.

  • He even blamed survivors of sexual assault and rape for the slow testing of the backlog. Reporting by The Post Crescent found that Schimel claimed “victim choices” were a primary cause for the backlog. The Post Crescent’s Keegan Kyle noted, “that wasn’t true.”
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