In the scorching sauna outside the Duval County Courthouse yesterday morning the city’s untested rape kits were the subject of a passionate press conference featuring Wes White, candidate for State Attorney, and his wife, physician Patricia “Pat” White.
Mr. White called on State Attorney Angela Corey to immediately submit the remaining 1,500 rape kits to FDLE. He is also asking for legislation mandating sending all sexual assault kits for processing with 48 or 72 hours of collection.
“Rape test kits must be processed immediately. Not just for the victims but also to prevent future victims because we know most rapists are serial rapists,” Mr. White said.
As a veteran prosecutor who formerly worked with Ms. Corey, he holds her particularly accountable for those kits not being tested.
“Angela Corey is the chief law enforcement officer… if she wants something done, it will be done, if she doesn’t care if it’s done, it will be put on a shelf,” he said.
Earlier this week First Coast News reported that Corey said testing the kits is an issue of funding and also that she opposes legislation that mandates that “we do our jobs.”
Anger and frustration were apparent as Dr. White, an emergency room physician who has performed rape kits, said that victims are let down when their kits go on a shelf to wait years, sometimes decades, for testing.
“The rape kit itself is a very stressful event and as we perform it is the beginning of a healing process for them simply because they were assured that these would be tested,” Dr. White said. “…to have these tests go untested is just like victimizing them again.”
Do not be surprised if coverage from yesterday’s press conference conveys an impression of Mr. White as someone with idealistic schemes and no idea how to achieve them. To hear many of the questions posed to him, one would have thought he was … More