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SAFE Task Force member wants AG's office to step up on untested rape kits

Posted at 6:43 PM, Jun 07, 2018

TULSA -- A member of the Task Force on Sexual Assault and Forensic Evidence is frustrated with the Attorney General's Office. 

More than 7,000 untested rape kits have been identified in the state of Oklahoma. A task force aimed to get the numbers down is waiting for more than 100 agencies to respond. 

Danielle Tudor is a rape survivor and a member of the task force.

She said Attorney General Mike Hunter's office is refusing to use any of their resources to enforce the audit. 

"The fact that he is not stepping up and taking leadership on this issue tells me he is absolutely not for this issue," Tudor said.  

The executive order issued last April by the Governor said the chief of the attorney general's victim services unit would be on the task force. 

That member was also appointed as the chair person by Governor Fallin. 

Tudor said that connection links the Attorney General's Office to the process.

"If you research the rape kit back log and who your leaders are across the nation in other states, the attorney general is typically the person who is stepping up to the plate and that is because they are the chief legal agency of the state," Tudor said. 

Attorney General Hunter said the member of his office only agreed to be the chair person in an administrative role. 

“Although the victim’s services unit chief agreed to step up to chair the task force and act in an administrative function, my office has no other roles or responsibilities enforcing the compliance of the law enforcement agencies," Attorney General Hunter said. 

The executive order states the Senate should act in an administrative role for the task force. 

"It puts rape survivors, past present and future rape survivors at a severe disadvantage for ever seeing any reform on this issue," Tudor said. 

She believes the Attorney General is not going to use his voice with the legislature to push rape kit reform. 

"Who do you know that would have a medical exam and never find out the results?" Tudor asked. "We would say how egregious that my doctor did this exam and put it on a shelf and let it sit for a while."

The task force's report that outlines recommendations moving forward with rape kits in the state is due to the Governor in July. 

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