Michigan County Prosecutors Struggle To Process Sex Crime Warrant Backlog

Sex crime warrants have started to stack up in Wayne County, Michigan, leaving more than 200 victims of alleged sex crimes waiting as their cases stall in the prosecutor’s office, Ross Jones reports for WXYZ Detroit’s 7 Action News. As of a last count in May 2023, 283 sex crime crime warrants had been pending at the prosecutor’s office for at least six months with at least four dating back to 2020.

Johanna Kononen, the director of law and policy for the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, told 7 Action News she wants to see the prosecutor’s office share a specific plan on how they’re going to address the backlog. The office has blamed underfunding and shortstaffing for the backlog: “Our caseloads are heavier and we’re doing the best we can with what we have,” prosecutor Kym Worthy said.

One anonymous woman recounted her story: in 2022, she was raped after a party. She went to police and the man she accused was correctly identified by DNA in a rape kit. In December, a warrant request for his arrest was submitted to the prosecutor’s office. The request sat untouched for almost five months before it was approved. Another woman reported that her warrant request was submitted in March 2022 and remains pending. Reporters found out that it had been assigned to the wrong office. Read the full story here.

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