BENTON CO., Wash. - Benton Co. Prosecutor Andy Miller is warning people against using at home rape kits.
At the end of August, PRESERVEkit announced it was officially on sale on Amazon. According to its website, the product is meant to help victims of sexual assault who are afraid to report the crime.
Miller says there hasn't been any cases of anyone in the Tri-Cities are trying to use one, but he's hoping to get spread the word of the problem with them before anyone does. Legally, the kits present many challenges.
"They aren't going to be done by protocols," Miller said. "There are very strict requirements to use results in trial with the chain of custody and things like that. At home tests will not meet those standards of admissibility, so we wouldn't be able to use the results in court."
Medically, Miller says at home rape kits would not be able to do as much as a rape kit done at a hospital. When a doctor does a rape kit, they do a full medical check that includes physical injuries, STD transmissions and therapy options.
"They're completely ignoring the issue that a rape victim may need medical diagnosis and treatment," Miller said. "It seems to be that they want to make a profit on somebody's tragedy and in the process make it even worse."
The founder of PRESERVEkit posted a letter on their website saying they will be removing most of their information due to all the cease and desist letters they have received, but they plan on coming back soon.
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