Man charged nearly 20 years after St. Paul attack

Man charged nearly 20 years after St. Paul attack

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- It was the night of July 4th, 1998.
 
St. Paul police responded to a call at the 200 block of Oxford Street. According to the criminal complaint - it was here - a woman said she was raped by someone she didn't know.
 
Time went by.
 
Now, nearly two decades later, Ramsey County has charged Robert Bradfield with first-degree criminal sexual conduct. 
 
What took so long? The criminal complaint says -- the woman was given an exam that night back in 1998.
 
Ilse Knecht is the Director of Policy and Advocacy for "Joyful Heart Foundation," a national non-profit that runs "End the Backlog," a program focusing on the backlog of rape kits in the United States.
 
"There are a lot of reasons that all come together. One is definitely resources. It costs money to test a kit. One of the major reasons is because we feel that the criminal justice system doesn't take sexual assault seriously," said Knecht.
 
In 2015, a KARE 11 investigation revealed that tens of thousands of rape kits -- including many in Minnesota - have never been tested. That same year, Minnesota passed a law requiring the BCA to complete a one-time audit of untested rape kits. But, "End the Backlog" wants more done here and everywhere.
 
"We want to make sure that we know that every survivor - no matter where they live - that their rape kit will be tested. It doesn't depend on your zip code. So, we're working on a solution that will include all 50 states having rape kit reform laws on their books," said Knecht.
 
The suspect in this case - Robert Bradfield - is behind bars in Illinois right now for robbery. He also faces charges for criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping in Detroit.

 

© 2017 KARE-TV


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