LANSING (WJRT) (8/29/2019) - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is ordering Me Too Kits Co. to stop marketing and selling their at-home sexual assault kits in the state.
Nessel says the New York-based company is violating several sections of Michigan's Consumer Protection Act. She sent the comapny an immediate cease and desist order on Thursday.
Me Too Kits Co. is marketing and selling a sexual assault evidence collection kit for victims to use at home. Nessel said the kits actually would delay victims from getting proper care and undermine a police investigation.
“This company is shamelessly trying to take financial advantage of the ‘Me Too’ movement by luring victims into thinking that an at-home, do-it-yourself sexual assault kit will stand up in court,” said Nessel. “Nothing could be further from the truth."
She pointed out a medical evaluation is crucial after a sexual assault, allowing victims to receive treatment of sexually transmitted infections, physical trauma and possible pregnancies.
Health care providers also refer sexual assault victims to mental and emotional support resources after completing a physical exam. Nessel is concerned people using Me Too Kits would miss out on that.
The kits violate evidence chain of custody requirements and wouldn't allow authorities to input DNA into national databases that help identify repeat offenders, Nessel said.
Michigan provides free sexual assault evidence collection kids for anyone who see medical attention within 120 hours of the crime.
“There is absolutely no benefit here for victims,” Nessel said. “In addition, some of the pitches the company is making actually demonize the process that allows the justice system to work. A victim should never be discouraged from reporting an assault and seeking the professional care he or she needs.”
Me Too Kits has 10 days to respond to Nessel's cease and desist order. She already is filing legal action in Ingham County Circuit Court to issue investigative subpoenas, however.
“This is an extremely important consumer and public safety matter and we will pursue it accordingly,” said Nessel.