Attorney General Andy Beshear Talks Untested Rape Kits and Responds to Pastor Video

Oct 5, 2016

Attorney General Andy Beshear
Credit Becca Schimmel

Attorney General Andy Beshear is commending victims of sexual assault for stepping forward and reporting what happened to them. He spoke in Bowling Green Wednesday about the backlog of 3,000 untested rape kits in Kentucky. Beshear said everything must be done to get the kits tested as soon as possible.

“These are not a box on a shelf, they represent a victim of one of the most heinous crimes imaginable that had the courage to report an underreported crime,” Beshear said.

Beshear’s office recently transferred $4.5 million from a pharmaceutical settlement to the Kentucky State Police crime lab. The Attorney General said the funding should ensure that there’s never a backlog of untested rape kits again.

Beshear also responded to a video that shows Governor Matt Bevin encouraging pastors to preach politics from the pulpit.

He described the video as “disturbing.” The video shows a talk given by Republican Matt Bevin to a group of 130 pastors he invited to the governor’s mansion in Frankfort. Bevin told the pastors they should ignore a federal law that forbids churches with tax exempt status from promoting candidates. Beshear said those in public office should follow the law, and advocate others to do the same.

“I would hope that all public officials would always encourage everyone they speak to, to follow the law and would never suggest that any group violate the law whether that law is regularly enforced or not.”

In the video, Bevin tells the pastors that the 1954 law known as the Johnson Amendment should be ignored because no church has ever lost its tax-exempt status with the IRS.