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Sen. Cornyn, Mayor Parker Highlight Bill To Eliminate Rape Kit Backlog

Will Be Joined By Houston Police Department, Victims and Victims’ Rights Groups At Press Conference

Who:
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas
Mayor Annise Parker
Lavinia Masters, Rape Abuse and Incest National Network
Mica Mosbacher, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
Diane Savage, Bay Area Turning Point
Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Matt Sklinkard

What:
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Houston Mayor Annise Parker will host a press conference tomorrow, Wednesday, May 30, to highlight the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry (SAFER) Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Cornyn to help eliminate the massive national backlog of an estimated 400,000 untested rape kits. They will also highlight the efforts made by the City of Houston in recent years to reduce Houston’s backlog.

Sen. Cornyn and Mayor Parker will be joined at tomorrow’s press conference by victim advocate and sexual assault survivor Lavinia B. Masters, who was raped in Dallas in 1985 at the age of 13. Masters’ rape kit sat untested for more than 20 years. When it was finally tested in 2006, the DNA profile from her kit was linked to a serial rapist who had committed multiple sexual assaults, including the rape of an elderly woman. Masters, who is a national speaker for the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), will speak to the importance of eliminating the rape kit backlog and share her personal story.

Other participants in tomorrow’s press conference will include: Houston resident Mica Mosbacher, a survivor of sexual assault and advocate representing the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA); Diane Savage representing Bay Area Turning Point (BATP), a local social service agency that provides—among other services—sexual assault prevention education to Houston area youth and offers shelter to sexual assault and domestic violence victims; and Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Matt Slinkard, who oversees the recently created Forensic Services Command, established to consolidate all forensic functions for the City of Houston under one organizational structure.

When:
1:50 p.m., Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Where:
Houston City Hall – Mayor’s Proclamation Room (3rd Floor), 901 Bagby Street, Houston, TX 77002

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Contact:
Janice Evans-Davis
janice.evans@houstontx.gov
832-393-0800 (o)
713-376-0525 (c)

Jessica Michan
jessica.michan@houstontx.gov
832-393-0804 (o)
713-834-7127 (c)

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