The Hollywood Police Department on Friday announced the arrests of two people in connection with sexual assaults that took place in 2006 and 2011.
Hollywood Police Chief Frank Fernandez recently audited all sexual assault evidence kits that had been locked up in the agency's evidence room. They found 94 kits were never submitted to the crime lab due to old policies. As a result, 24 cases so far have been reviewed and police have arrested two people.
Lee Parrish of Lauderhill was arrested for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old near the area of North 25th Avenue and McKinley Street on April 14, 2006.
Kareem Malcolm of Boston was arrested for sexually battering a 25-year-old victim near the 1900 block of Roosevelt Street.
Chief Fernandez has said that it was a county-wide policy not to process the evidence kits.
"Unless you had a cooperative victim, the lab would not receive that rape kit," Fernandez said.
"The backlog of these rape kits, if you look around, is a national problem," said Chief Fernandez.
Kim Goedde, cofounder of the Ft. Lauderdale non profit Ax Sex Abusers Now, said the mistake is inexcusable.
"I just don't understand how the police department could let this many cases slide by," said Goedde. "It just boggles my mind, it doesn't make any sense."
Chief Fernandez said he has created a special unit to handle all sexual assault cases and all rape test kits are now analyzed.