Investigative Reviews

After the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratories (WSCL) completes the testing and technical review of the previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs), the test results are forwarded to the local law enforcement agency that submitted the SAK.  These results have then been reviewed by the local agencies, with known information about the incident, and a determination has been made to pursue any additional investigative leads.  Ultimately, a determination has been made whether to refer the case to the local district attorney’s (DA) office for a charging decision.  As part of the WiSAKI project, these cases have also been reviewed by the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) at DOJ.

Below is an interactive dashboard relating to further investigations attached to the WiSAKI cases.

Further Investigations: This dashboard shows the total number of SAKs associated with further investigations. It also shows the number of cases that have been referred to the local DA for a charging decision, as well as which type of criminal justice partners made that decision. County level counts can be obtained by hovering over a county on the map.

Reasons for not referring to DA: This dashboard gives a statewide breakdown of the reasons provided by the local teams as to why cases were not referred to the local district attorney for a charging decision. The decision to refer a case for a charging decision can change over time. Definitions for these categories can be found below.

Data notes: These counts only include cases where DNA foreign to the victim was identified in testing. The number of SAKs associated with a charging decision can be greater than the number of cases referred because a case may involve more than one SAK. Some cases are still in the investigation stage and have not yet had a determination made on whether to refer for a charging decision.

As more case reviews are completed by MDT's across the state, or as more information becomes available, these counts and percentages will change (last updated 8/19/2020).

 

Decision Makers

Law enforcement only: Local law enforcement determined whether this incident should be referred to the local DA for a charging decision.

Law enforcement and DA only: Local law enforcement and the DA made the decision whether to refer the incident for a charging decision.

MDT with DA: The local MDT, which included the DA, decided whether to refer the incident for a charging decision. The MDT included the local law enforcement agency, the local DA and at least one of the following partners: community advocacy, system advocacy, the state crime laboratory, and/or a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE).

MDT without DA: The local MDT, which did not include the DA, jointly decided on whether to refer the incident for a charging decision. The MDT included the local law enforcement agency and at least one of the following partners: community advocacy, system advocacy, the state crime laboratory, and/or SANE, but did not include the local DA.

 

Reasons provided for not referring to get a charging decision

Already prosecuted: The case connected to the SAK has already been adjudicated. Most of these cases were adjudicated before the start of the project without testing the SAK.

MDT determined the case should not proceed: After a case review, the MDT determined, based on information specific to the case that the case should not proceed to prosecution.

Non-reporting SAK: As outlined in the project methodology, per Wis. Stat. § 175.405 non-reporting SAKs in law enforcement possession after July 1, 2011, where a suspect had not been identified were required to be tested. To respect the choice of the survivors in these cases not to engage with the criminal justice system, survivors were not reengaged about prosecution. This also includes cases where the survivor initially reported but later chose not to proceed with the investigation or prosecution.

Not able to locate the survivor: An attempt was made to locate the survivor in order to discuss options about prosecution, but the survivor could not be located.

Results of SAK testing yielded no new investigative leads: The results of the DNA testing provided no new information or investigative leads to law enforcement. For example, there were no CODIS hits to identify a new suspect or to confirm a previously identified suspect. This includes cases where the suspect claims any sexual contact was consensual.

Statute of limitations has expired: It is no longer possible to issue criminal charges related to this incident because the statute of limitations has expired.

Survivor re-engagement might not be appropriate: After a case review, local law enforcement or the MDT has determined, based on information specific to the case, that it might not be safe or appropriate to re-engage the survivor at this time. Survivors always have the option to request information about the testing of their SAK by contacting the local law enforcement agency, local sexual assault service provider, or through By Your Side.

Suspect is deceased: The suspect in the case is deceased and criminal charges cannot be issued.