HOUSTON A victim s rape kit sat untested on a shelf for more than 20 years, but once it was finally examined her attack was linked to a serial rapist. Now there is a new plan to make sure justice is not delayed for other rape victims.
I was in so much pain, and I was in so much trauma after this ordeal, said Lavinia Masters.
At a press conference Wednesday you could hear the emotion in Master s voice as she talks about how she was raped when she was 13 years old.
And then to find out that my kit, after taking so much evidence, was taken from me, sat on a shelf for 21 years, I can t explain how that made me feel, she said.
Masters, who is from Dallas, came to Houston to help call attention to the national backlog of rape kits still needing to be processed. Texas Sen. John Cornyn is among those proposing more funding to get things moving.
Masters joined him and Houston Mayor Annise Parker pushing for the legislation. Houston needs more money too.
There have been times there have been failures and that s why we re doing this. That s why we are bringing the attention we are to it because we know that jurisdictions need to do better, said HPD Asst. Chief Matt Slinkard.
More than 6,600 rape kits are sitting in HPD s property room right now, waiting to be tested.
The department says it needs the additional money to help process the massive load and identify perpetrators.
Masters said do whatever it takes.
No pricetag should be put on my sanity, on my life, on my happiness. There s no price tag for that, Masters said.