Thousands of untested sexual assault kits that could have solved at least 500 sexual crimes in Portland over the last decade were left on storage shelves. Detectives vowed to fix the issue after the homicide and sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl named Melissa Bittler in 2001.
However, an investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive reporter Maxine Bernstein showed that Portland police failed on the promise to send the untested kits to the state crime lab.
This story led the Oregon legislature to adopt a bill that requires timely sex assault kit testing across the state and the local police to obtain grants to help send the abundance of untested kits to a private lab for testing.
You can read the full article, “Thousands of untested sex assault kits piled up in trail of broken promises by Portland police,” here.
Members of the News Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.