Raleigh, N.C. – A group of Republican senators responded Wednesday to news reports that, in spite of current Gov. Roy Cooper failing to clear a backlog of untested rape kits in North Carolina during his sixteen years as attorney general and then falsely claiming to have done so, his successor is now attempting to shift the blame for that failure onto lawmakers.
Sens. Shirley Randleman (R-Wilkes), Kathy Harrington (R-Gaston), Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth), Tamara Barringer (R-Wake), Cathy Dunn (R-Davidson), Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga) and Trudy Wade (R-Guilford) issued the following joint statement:
“Josh Stein should know better and should be ashamed of this partisan attempt to deflect blame and defend the failures of his predecessor Roy Cooper.
“Under Democratic and Republican budgets dating back to the 2003-04 budget, state taxpayer money was set aside to test these rape kits. And it is unconscionable that during his sixteen years as attorney general, Gov. Cooper not only failed to heed the pleas of rape victims like the woman who said the untested kits were ‘the next stab in my heart’, but then lied to the people of North Carolina and said he had fixed the problem.
“Because of Roy Cooper’s lies and failure, lawmakers are now working to establish a process to track the thousands of remaining kits in the backlog before expending additional tax dollars to have them tested.”
A 2016 WRAL story asked then-Attorney General Cooper’s office for the current number of backlogged cases in the State Crime Lab. “There’s no backlog figure because there is no backlog,” Talley, Cooper’s Department of Justice spokeswoman, said.