Reasons sexual assault kits (SAKs) were not previously submitted for DNA testing

The below information provides a representation of the reasons sexual assault kits (SAKs) were not previously submitted to the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory (WSCL) for testing, prior to the WiSAKI project. The information was derived from the individual inventories submitted by local law enforcement agencies and sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) programs. It is important to note that this is from the perspective of the local law enforcement agency or local SANE program that completed the inventory. These reasons were not the determining factor in whether or not a SAK is currently designated for testing under the WiSAKI project. 

These interactive dashboards can be filtered by the year the SAK came into the agency's possession or by county. 

Data Notes: Below are further details on how each of the categories are defined and/or what the categories include. 

*Until all of the SAKs have been received and verified by the WSCL, these numbers are still subject to change (last updated 8/19/2020). 

 

Law enforcement chose not to pursue the investigation: These SAKs were not originally submitted because the law enforcement agency made the decision to not continue the investigation. Some of the reasons given by law enforcement agencies included a lack of evidence in the case or credibility concerns with the victim. This also included instances where the victim reported the sexual assault to law enforcement, but the agency never collected the SAK from the hospital that conducted the SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) exam.  

Law enforcement determined the case to be unfounded: These SAKs were not originally submitted because the law enforcement agency determined that no sexual assault occurred, and therefore, labeled the allegation of sexual assault as unfounded. It is important to note there is a discrepancy between the number of SAKs originally designated as unfounded by law enforcement and those that are considered to be unfounded by the WiSAKI project. The WiSAKI project utilized a more narrow definition of unfounded that resulted in more kits being designated for testing.

Prosecutor declined to pursue charges or dismissed the case: These SAKs were forwarded on for prosecution by the law enforcement agency, but the local district attorney’s office either chose not to file charges or dismissed the case.

Prosecutor determined the evidence was not probative: These SAKs were not tested because the local district attorney’s office did not believe the evidence would impact their investigation or prosecution. This includes cases where there was a conviction without the need for testing the SAK.

Unknown/Report Unavailable: The law enforcement agency that completed the inventory was not able to determine why the SAK was not submitted because the report associated with the SAK was not available. The most common reason this occurred was because the law enforcement agency upgraded or changed their records management system and could no longer access the reports on the old system.

Victim did not report the sexual assault to law enforcement: These SAKs were not originally submitted because there was no report of a sexual assault occurring. Some of these SAKs were held as Jane/John Doe or anonymous SAKs by both the local law enforcement agency and some hospitals.

Victim reported, but then chose not to pursue or was cited as uncooperative: In these cases the victim originally reported the sexual assault to law enforcement. The victim then chose not to pursue the case by either expressing their choice to withdraw from the process to the law enforcement agency, or was perceived by the law enforcement agency as being uncooperative or that they were choosing not to engage or pursue the process.