Officials warn against using home sexual assault exam kits

Alaska State Trooper Investigator, Sergeant Jeremy Rupe (pictured above), explained that Alaska has a very strict legal standard for who conducts the tests, as well as a chain of custody that has to be followed, and when that isn't followed, it falls on the victim. (John Dougherty/KTVF)
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The 'Alaska Department of Law' and the 'Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault' are both warning against using at-home sexual assault exam kits. The kits are made to collect DNA evidence off of victims of sexual assault. In a press release issued today, the agencies said the kits could actually end up hurting victims of sexual crimes. Alaska State Trooper Investigator, Sergeant Jeremy Rupe (roop), explained that Alaska has a very strict legal standard for who conducts the tests, as well as a chain of custody that has to be followed, and when that isn't followed, it falls on the victim. He also said there are several options for victims -- including having an anonymous kit done. "It's about helping the victims, but it is also about the integrity of the investigation,” Rupe said. “These cases are very, very difficult to prosecute in court and we have a process that has been proven many times through the multi-disciplinary team. That approach does work and we would ask people to follow that approach."

Another benefit of going to the police is that it limits the number of times someone has to retell their story.

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