Rape kit not tested until 5 years after assault

PORTLAND — Court records state Portland police didn't pursue or submit evidence for a sexual assault case until five years after the assault was reported, despite police having the name of a suspect and a sexual assault kit.

A 19-year-old woman told police she was raped in 2011 and gave a name, phone number and address of the man she accused, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Monday. She also submitted a sexual assault kit for testing.

Five years later, the kit was tested and matched the man she accused. The DNA matched that of Clint Curtis Williams, who was in a state database from a felony arrest. He had a first-degree rape conviction in 1986 and multiple parole violations. Earlier this year, he was accused of failing to register as a sex offender.

Williams was arraigned last week on one count of first-degree rape and three counts of other sexual assault charges.

The kit was among nearly 3,000 untested kits that Multnomah, Marion and Lane counties sent last April to a private lab in Utah after grant money was received.

The Utah lab is screening the stockpile of kits for male DNA profiles and conducting other biological testing as needed, then uploading its findings into a secure web-based program. The Oregon State Police crime lab, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office and the police agencies involved have access to the data.

Last year, the governor signed into law Melissa's Bill, which is named after a 14-year-old killed by a serial rapist on her way to school in 2001.

In that case, sexual assault kits from at least two other young teens raped by the girl's killer four years earlier sat untested until detectives investigating her death submitted them to a lab.

The bill directs police agencies across Oregon and state police to adopt rules for collection, submission for testing and retention of the kits. All kits must be stored for 60 years.

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