by Maxine Bentzel

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — West Palm Beach police made an arrest in a sexual battery investigation that went cold for 20 years.
According to the police report, the woman was just 15 years old when she met Lawrence Love in West Palm Beach.
He agreed to give her a ride, taking her back to a building on 7th Street where police said she tried to fight him off, but he choked her and eventually raped her.It wasn’t until last year that police identified Love as their rape suspect.Sgt. David Lefont with West Palm Beach Police said that’s because in 2017, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office took more than 350 backlogged rape kits off their hands and had them tested.One of them came back consistent with Love, so police were finally able to make an arrest.Lefont said collecting DNA was difficult 20 years ago and until PBSO stepped in to help, they were only sending 30 untested kits a year to the FBI in no particular order. He also added that at the time of the alleged rape, sexual assault kits were only sent for testing if there was a suspect.“Back then they didn’t know there was a DNA process for this, because I remember when I first became a detective we used to collect blood,” he said. “The state attorney would always request blood because they would do blood typing, now that’s 2001-2002. So going back to 1998, I would assume that’s probably the transition at that time that we were actually learning that we could process these kits for DNA.”Regardless, he said they could’ve done better.“You can always do better and we’re always analyzing what we do, but right now with no backlog I think you will not see that happen in the future,” Lefont said.West Palm Beach police said they have more open cases in the works right now from those more than 300 backlogged rape kits.Prior to 2016, there was no requirement that rape kits be tested in Florida, but a new law changed that and required the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct a one time audit of untested rape kits across the state.To prevent the backlog, law enforcement agencies are now required to submit evidence within 30 days of the beginning of their investigation.The sexual assault kits must then be processed by the lab within 120 days.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — West Palm Beach police made an arrest in a sexual battery investigation that went cold for 20 years.
According to the police report, the woman was just 15 years old when she met Lawrence Love in West Palm Beach.
He agreed to give her a ride, taking her back to a building on 7th Street where police said she tried to fight him off, but he choked her and eventually raped her.It wasn’t until last year that police identified Love as their rape suspect.Sgt. David Lefont with West Palm Beach Police said that’s because in 2017, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office took more than 350 backlogged rape kits off their hands and had them tested.One of them came back consistent with Love, so police were finally able to make an arrest.Lefont said collecting DNA was difficult 20 years ago and until PBSO stepped in to help, they were only sending 30 untested kits a year to the FBI in no particular order. He also added that at the time of the alleged rape, sexual assault kits were only sent for testing if there was a suspect.“Back then they didn’t know there was a DNA process for this, because I remember when I first became a detective we used to collect blood,” he said. “The state attorney would always request blood because they would do blood typing, now that’s 2001-2002. So going back to 1998, I would assume that’s probably the transition at that time that we were actually learning that we could process these kits for DNA.”Regardless, he said they could’ve done better.“You can always do better and we’re always analyzing what we do, but right now with no backlog I think you will not see that happen in the future,” Lefont said.West Palm Beach police said they have more open cases in the works right now from those more than 300 backlogged rape kits.Prior to 2016, there was no requirement that rape kits be tested in Florida, but a new law changed that and required the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct a one time audit of untested rape kits across the state.To prevent the backlog, law enforcement agencies are now required to submit evidence within 30 days of the beginning of their investigation.The sexual assault kits must then be processed by the lab within 120 days.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — West Palm Beach police made an arrest in a sexual battery investigation that went cold for 20 years.
According to the police report, the woman was just 15 years old when she met Lawrence Love in West Palm Beach.
He agreed to give her a ride, taking her back to a building on 7th Street where police said she tried to fight him off, but he choked her and eventually raped her.It wasn’t until last year that police identified Love as their rape suspect.Sgt. David Lefont with West Palm Beach Police said that’s because in 2017, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office took more than 350 backlogged rape kits off their hands and had them tested.One of them came back consistent with Love, so police were finally able to make an arrest.Lefont said collecting DNA was difficult 20 years ago and until PBSO stepped in to help, they were only sending 30 untested kits a year to the FBI in no particular order. He also added that at the time of the alleged rape, sexual assault kits were only sent for testing if there was a suspect.“Back then they didn’t know there was a DNA process for this, because I remember when I first became a detective we used to collect blood,” he said. “The state attorney would always request blood because they would do blood typing, now that’s 2001-2002. So going back to 1998, I would assume that’s probably the transition at that time that we were actually learning that we could process these kits for DNA.”Regardless, he said they could’ve done better.“You can always do better and we’re always analyzing what we do, but right now with no backlog I think you will not see that happen in the future,” Lefont said.West Palm Beach police said they have more open cases in the works right now from those more than 300 backlogged rape kits.Prior to 2016, there was no requirement that rape kits be tested in Florida, but a new law changed that and required the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct a one time audit of untested rape kits across the state.To prevent the backlog, law enforcement agencies are now required to submit evidence within 30 days of the beginning of their investigation.The sexual assault kits must then be processed by the lab within 120 days.
Sgt. David Lefont with West Palm Beach Police said that’s because in 2017, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office took more than 350 backlogged rape kits off their hands and had them tested.One of them came back consistent with Love, so police were finally able to make an arrest.Lefont said collecting DNA was difficult 20 years ago and until PBSO stepped in to help, they were only sending 30 untested kits a year to the FBI in no particular order. He also added that at the time of the alleged rape, sexual assault kits were only sent for testing if there was a suspect.“Back then they didn’t know there was a DNA process for this, because I remember when I first became a detective we used to collect blood,” he said. “The state attorney would always request blood because they would do blood typing, now that’s 2001-2002. So going back to 1998, I would assume that’s probably the transition at that time that we were actually learning that we could process these kits for DNA.”Regardless, he said they could’ve done better.“You can always do better and we’re always analyzing what we do, but right now with no backlog I think you will not see that happen in the future,” Lefont said.West Palm Beach police said they have more open cases in the works right now from those more than 300 backlogged rape kits.Prior to 2016, there was no requirement that rape kits be tested in Florida, but a new law changed that and required the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct a one time audit of untested rape kits across the state.To prevent the backlog, law enforcement agencies are now required to submit evidence within 30 days of the beginning of their investigation.The sexual assault kits must then be processed by the lab within 120 days.