MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A rape case that went unsolved for 15 years is closed because of a years-long push to test untested sexual assault kits.
Matthew McIntosh pleaded guilty this week to criminal sexual conduct cases from 2005 and 2018. Two survivors of sexual assault, with attacks more than a decade apart, received justice the same day.
St. Louis County prosecutor Nate Stumme is prosecuting cases connected to previously untested sexual assault kits.
“So I had two very strong, courageous victim-survivors,” Stumme said.
In the most recent conviction, a woman reported a rape by someone she knew in 2005. Years later in 2018, another woman would accuse McIntosh of rape.
While investigating that case, prosecutors told WCCO they matched McIntosh’s DNA to the earlier case, where the sexual assault kit had gone untested for at least a decade.
“Had reported the events back then and for whatever reason the investigation stalled,” Stumme said. “Based on their willingness and their perseverance to see matters through, we were able to successfully prosecute Mr. McIntosh.”
This prosecution marks six convictions for the county, with kits that had been part of a backlog. Over the past few years, a dedicated team has examined the evidence. Out of 203 with viable DNA, 14 cases have now been charged. Stumme says it’s imperative to press forward.
“There’s nothing more important to be able to achieve justice in those cases that are both the most serious, and those where the system has stumbled and has failed victims in the past,” Stumme said.
Duluth Police is the only department to eliminate its backlog in the state. The team says there is still work ahead, trying to connect with roughly 150 more victim-survivors.
If you believe you have an untested kit with Duluth Police and haven’t been contacted yet, you call the Betty Skye Line at 218-730-5449 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Betty Skye Line was developed by PAVSA to connect victim-survivors to an advocate that can help them navigate through the criminal justice process
Source: CBS Minnesota