Actress Hargitay, Prosecutor Worthy discuss rape kit project - FOX 35 News Orlando

Actress Hargitay, Prosecutor Worthy discuss rape kit project

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DETROIT -- Actress Mariska Hargitay joined Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy Monday to discuss proposed legislation that would speed up sexual assault kit testing.

Hargitay stars on NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." She also is founder and president of the Joyful Heart Foundation. The foundation works with police and prosecutors on eliminating the backlog of testing for sexual assault kits.

More than 11,000 untested kits dating back 25 years were found in 2009 in a Detroit Police Department storage facility. The kits contain documentation, supplies for technicians, swabs and other items to collect samples.

Of those 11,000 kits, 1,600 have now been tested leading to the identification of nearly 100 serial rapists.

Worthy has been pushing for more funding to process the backlog of kits.

For example, Shelly Brooks raped nine women and killed eight of them. A rape kit from 2002 could have saved the lives of five of those victims if it had only been tested.

Hargitay also announced on Monday her new documentary, "Shelved," which will be filmed in Detroit.

"Our hope is that this film will shine a light on the rape kit backlog and demand that we collectively account for this dark mark in our history and take steps to ensure that it doesn't happen again," she said during the conference.

LINK: Click here for more information on the backlog of the rape kits

LINK: Click here if you would like to donate to the Sexual Assault Free Detroit Initiative

VIDEO: Click on the videos in the video player above to hear from Hargitay and Worthy

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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