Testing thousands of rape kits result in charges against 6 people

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The state Department of Justice's work to test thousands of rape kits has resulted in charges against a half-dozen people so far.

Former Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel began a project in 2016 to test thousands of unanalyzed sexual assault kits. He drew intense criticism from Democratic challenger Josh Kaul during last year's campaign for taking too long to complete the testing.

Schimel announced in September that testing was complete on about 4,100 kits. Kaul still defeated him in the November election.

Kaul announced Friday that DOJ is currently reviewing 600 cases. That review has led to charges against six people. The sixth person was charged Friday, April 12, in Milwaukee County.

Kaul says the DOJ plans to review another 1,000 cases in which kit tests revealed DNA profiles.

In a statement Friday, Kaul said the DOJ was approved to use a federal grant to hire another research analyst and another assistant attorney general to help with the project.

He also said in 998 instances, DNA from test kits was added to a national database of DNA profiles to look for a match.

The six cases resulting in charges so far are in Milwaukee, Oneida, Rock, Waupaca and Winnebago counties.

The defendant just charged on Friday, Cedric Ball, is accused of a sexual assault in 2014. The criminal complaint says Ball paid a woman for sex but she says he held her down and she begged him to stop. Her sexual assault examination kit was tested as part of the DOJ project.