New BCI Forensic Scientists Help Solve Shelved Rape Cases


UPDATED: Wednesday August 22, 2012 5:44 PM

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office expects the first of hundreds of charges to be brought in rape cases that have sat on the shelves for years.

Last December, Attorney General Mike DeWine hired four forensic scientists to process evidence for old rape kits. He requested rape kits from law enforcement agencies from around the state and received 1,400 kits to test.

Adrienne Veitch’s rape has been unsolved for 11 years.

As a college student, she went to a party where she was drugged and abducted to the woods.

“I was kind of out of it, and all of a sudden came to in the back seat of a car with three strange men I didn’t know,” Veitch said. “I didn’t really know what happened the last five hours of my life.”

At the hospital, a nurse collected evidence.

“You don’t know where it goes, and it could sit on the shelves for years,” Veitch said.

Forensic scientist Sarah Glass said that the kits usually include swabs, clothing, and microscope slides prepared by nurses.

“We’ll test them. We’ll test them for free,” DeWine said. “Just bring them to us.”

The new forensic scientists at the Bureau of Criminal Identification are nearly done with the training and are about to begin processing evidence.

A machine provides the DNA profile of the rapist, and the information goes into a national database to match the profile to a name.

DeWine said that he expects to find usable evidence in 60 to 70 percent of cases.

“We’re going to catch people. We’re going to solve cases, and we’re going to see some justice for these victims,” DeWine said.

Veitch, who speaks to college groups to bring awareness about rape, said that she wants justice.

“It’s not ever going to make the rape go away, but I think it could bring a sense of closure,” Veitch said.

DeWine said that he thinks the new system could help solve other cold cases, too.

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