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AG Schuette Commends Senate Passage of Bills Strengthening Sexual

Assault Victims' Rights


Contact: Joy Yearout 517-373-8060


September 23, 2014
LANSING, Mich. - Attorney General Bill Schuette today praised the Michigan Senate for approving
vital crime victim rights' legislation that strengthens the rights of sexual assault survivors. The bipartisan
package of Senate Bills 998, 1004, and 1021, sponsored by Senators Rick Jones and Bert Johnson, was
passed unanimously by the Senate, and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.
"Every woman who faces the tragedy of sexual violence has a right to know the status of the sexual
assault evidence kit connected to her case," said Schuette. "This legislation builds on our efforts to secure
justice for survivors of sexual assault."
"I would like to thank Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, bill sponsors Senator Rick Jones
and Senator Bert Johnson, and all the legislators who voted in support of this measure for their commitment
to justice for victims of sexual assault."
In June of this year, Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation to ensure sexual assault evidence
kits are processed more quickly. The Sexual Assault Kit Evidence Submission Act establishes time periods
for sexual assault evidence collection kits to be retrieved by the investigating law enforcement agency,
submitted to forensic laboratories and analyzed for forensic evidence.
The legislation approved by the Senate today is the next step in this process, expanding sexual
assault survivors' access to information about the status of their kits as they move through the process of
forensic analysis.
Ongoing Efforts to Bring Justice for Victims, Strengthen Public Safety
Also in June of this year, the legislature approved a $3 million appropriation for the annual 2014-
2015 budget for the Department of Attorney General to fund sexual assault prosecutions that stem from the
ongoing effort to DNA test thousands of unprocessed sexual assault evidence kits. The successful
collection of $3 million in litigation and settlement funds prompted Attorney General Schuette to request the
appropriation to bring justice for victims of sexual assault.

One year earlier, in June 2013, Attorney General Schuette joined Governor Snyder and Wayne
County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to announce a $4 million commitment, later appropriated by the legislature
to the Michigan State Police, to test thousands of sexual assault evidence kits discovered in a Detroit Police
Department property storage facility. The plan was launched to remove rapists and other violent criminals
from Michigan streets, protecting the state from serial criminals, as well as beginning the process of
securing justice for women who were the victims of horrific crimes.

History of the Sexual Assault Kit Crisis in Michigan
In 2009, more than 11,000 untested sexual assault kits dating back 25 years were discovered, each
holding the potential to solve multiple crimes, including those committed by serial rapists. Since the closure
of the Detroit Police Department Crime Laboratory in September of 2009, the Michigan State Police (MSP)
has been providing forensic science services to the city of Detroit and the Wayne County Prosecutor's
Office. The MSP's Forensic Science Division has been instrumental in the laboratory analysis of sexual
assault kits and currently works with privately contracted laboratories, the Wayne County Prosecutor's
Office, and the Detroit Police Department, on efforts to test the remaining sexual assault kits.

In 2011, the National Institute of Justice published a report on the challenge of untested rape kits
nationwide, called The Road Ahead: Unanalyzed Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases, available online
at https://ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/233279.pdf.

2008 Cold Case Sexual Assault Charges
On September 15, 2014, Schuette and Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting announced the
filing of felony criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping charges against Calvin Ray Kelly (a.k.a. Larry Calvin
Jackson), 57, of Memphis, Tennessee for his alleged sexual assault of a Southwest Michigan victim in a
2008 Kalamazoo cold case. Schuette has also requested Kelly be sentenced as a Habitual Offender under
the Violent Offender Fourth Offense (VO-4) habitual offender law first proposed by Schuette.
The charges followed an extensive investigation by Schuette's Attorney General Cold Case Sexual
Assault (AGCCSA) team with assistance from the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office, and the
Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS). Kelly waived extradition and is in the process of being
transported from Tennessee to face the Michigan charges.
In 2012, Schuette's office created the Attorney General Cold Case Sexual Assault Project
(AGCCSA) funded by a United States Department of Justice grant to combat violence against women.
AGCCSA is ongoing, comprised of a full-time Assistant Attorney General and a Special Agent Investigator
from Schuette's office as well as representatives from the Michigan State Police Forensic Science Division
(MSP-FSD), the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, and the Michigan Domestic and Sexual
Violence Prevention and Treatment Board.
"Solving cold cases requires a combination of dedication, resources, and cooperation across
jurisdictions," said Schuette. "Our aggressive, victim-centered, offender-focused approach has brought us
one step closer to securing justice for survivors of sexual assault and their loved ones."
Hope for Victims of Sexual Assault
Michigan victims of sexual violence are encouraged to call the national sexual assault hotline toll-
free, 1-800-656-HOPE. All calls are confidential, and will be answered by a local counseling center affiliated
with the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). Assistance is also available online
at www.rainn.org.
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