The Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office is expanding its Sexual Assault Kit Initiative to Jackson County.
The state police approached the Ingham County prosecutor’s Office earlier this year, wanting to add a Jackson County investigator to support the one Ingham County Sheriff’s Department investigator currently working on a backlog of sexual assault kits.
This month, the Ingham County Board of Commissioners accepted a $268,271 grant that will make that expansion into Jackson County possible.
Mike Cheltenham, chief assistant prosecuting attorney in Ingham County, says “it regionalized the investigations for both Jackson and Ingham County.”
REDUCING BACKLOG OF UNSOLVED CASES
They’re looking at evidence that has not been examined in a couple years. It takes a lot more time with these investigations, to get them started back up again. It’s slow but steady work, but it’s going on. It’s proceeding. Chief Assistant Ingham County Prosecutor Mike Cheltenham
Ingham County had a backlog of about 120 sexual assault cases before receiving a grant two years ago that funded an investigator. Cheltenham says he doesn’t have current numbers but that the backlog is being reduced. He says Jackson County has a backlog of 60 to 70 cases.