The City of Akron Police Department was awarded $991,582 in fiscal year 2018 to fund the investigation and prosecution of cold case sexual assaults under SAKI. Specifically, the Akron Police Department will utilize this award to handle a large caseload that has resulted from 1,822 sexual assault kits that were tested at the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation laboratory. The Akron Police Department plans to hire additional personnel involved in sexual assault response and implement a case management system database as well as advanced technology to increase the efficiency of investigations.
In 2019, the City of Akron Police Department was granted $1,980,292 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to expand on their initial SAKI award. The funding will be utilized to train the Akron Police Department Investigative Division on trauma-informed investigative practices; use research and evaluation to inform planning, protocol implementation, and practice; and develop a trauma-informed community approach to sexual assault cases in Summit County. Funding will also be used to hire several key staff members onto the SAKI project, including (but not limited to) a prosecutor, a paralegal, and four victim advocates.
Summit prosecutor urges community to ‘Start By Believing’ rape victims
Stephanie Warsmith, Beacon Journal, Apr 3, 2020
Akron’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) began a social media campaign to commemorate SAAM. “Our hope is that when other victims/survivors see how diligently the SAKI unit is working to improve our responses to victims/survivors of sexual assault, many more will find the strength and courage to report their victimization,” Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh stated.
New Akron police unit delves into 20 years of unsolved rapes
Amanda Garrett, Akron Beacon Journal, Jun 22, 2019
Akron SAKI has reinvestigated 41 sexual assault cases and have brought charges against three suspects including one serial rapist.
Event features documentary, experts on untested rape kits
Amanda Garrett, Akron Beacon Journal, Jun 11, 2019
The Akron Beacon Journal and the Akron, OH SAKI site will be hosting a showing of "I Am Evidence" followed by a panel discussion with the detectives from the Akron SAKI site and their victim advocate partners.
DNA links Akron man to four rapes since 2011, police say
Robin Goist, Cleveland.com, May 31, 2019
The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative detectives received DNA profile matches for a suspect on four rape cases dating to Jan. 17, 2011 and have now charged him with six counts of rape and various other charges.
New Akron detective unit revisits unsolved sex crimes
Amanda Garrett, Akron Beacon Journal, Mar 1, 2019
The Akron Sexual Assault Initiative (ASAKI) held their first multi-disciplinary team meting to discuss cold case sexual assaults that are associated with previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative aims to create a coordinated community response that ensures just resolution to sexual assault cases. Through this program, funding is provided to support multidisciplinary community response teams engaged in the comprehensive reform of jurisdictions approaches to sexual assault cases resulting from evidence found in previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.