New grant provides new prosecutor to help backlogged rape cases

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Channel 9 has learned that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has a new strategy to investigate hundreds of backlogged rape cases.

That is a result of a new grant that would bring in a prosecutor to handle those cases.

There will be 1,400 kits tested, possibly retested at labs across the country.

There are 400 more kits to be tested soon in hopes of identifying a suspect through DNA testing.

“There's a lot of work to be done after we get that hit back,” said Sgt. Darrell Price, of the CMPD Cold Case Unit.

Price expects that as many as 1 in 3 of those kits may produce a hit, which is a lot of cases.

Prosecutor Anna Greene started her job Monday at CMPD.

She is a former homicide prosecutor who will review the evidence from those cold cases and when possible, get them ready for trial.

“She can help us take a case, look at it thoroughly, work with the detectives to see what strengths or weaknesses may exist,” Price said.

Greene will be working 20 hours a week. The grant will pay for her to be with the CMPD for three years.

She wants to bring a measure of peace to those who've been waiting so long for closure.

“The passage of time makes the cases, makes the situation even more critical for people who have been waiting a long time for those phone calls and for that closure,” Greene said.

Police said that most of those cold cases were worked extensively years ago. They're hoping that having Greene onboard will help them find the final pieces that will help them identify and prosecute the suspects.

Last week, Gov. Roy Cooper signed a new law about rape kits, which calls for a statewide tracking system that will prioritize which kits should be tested first.

Victims would be able to keep tabs on their kits and find out when it's been tested.

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