This is Why Rape Kits Must Be Tested

With tens of thousands of rape kits sitting on shelves in labs without being tested, this case provides a perfect example of why Congress needs to step up with funding to clear the backlog. A former police officer in Memphis has been charged with aggravated rape after a kit was tested and matched his DNA from a case 14 years ago.

A former Memphis police officer was indicted on aggravated rape charges. A back-logged rape kit finally got tested and helped lead to the indictment which stems from an attack that happened 14 years ago.

Bridges Randle, 40, is accused of raping a woman in her apartment on June 24, 2000. He changed his name, but Memphis investigators still tracked him down to Atlanta, Georgia where he worked for The Boys & Girls Club.

“We’ve been working very hard to get through this backlog and to make sure all of these kits get tested and get the results we have today,” District Attorney Amy Weirich said.

Randle remains locked up at the Shelby County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

He is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman at gunpoint in 2000. Investigators say it happened at a Fox Meadows area apartment.

Police had been there earlier in the day on June 24, 2000 responding to a domestic violence call. The alleged victim told investigators that a man acting like a police officer later returned to ask more questions.

The woman says that man pulled a gun on her, forced her into a bedroom, and raped her.

DNA evidence from an previously untested rape kit identified the suspect as Randle. At the time, he was an officer with Memphis police.

Randle left MPD in 2001 and was most recently an administrator with The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, where he went by another name.

Imagine how many more women he may have raped in the last 14 years, especially working with young people. There are tens of thousands of rape kits, perhaps hundreds of thousands, that have not been tested. In Detroit alone, it was more than 10,000 kits that had been sitting on police lab shelves for years, sometimes decades. That means several things: that victims get no justice, that rapists are still free to victimize more people, and that there may be innocent people convicted of those crimes.

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  • D. C. Sessions

    That means several things: that victims get no justice, that rapists are still free to victimize more people, and that there may be innocent people convicted of those crimes.

    So where’s the downside?