Orange County

Gail’s Law could provide closure for rape victims years later

ORLANDO, Fla. — Gail Gardner recently told Channel 9 about the worst night of her life.

“I was raped by someone who had broken into my home,” she said.

That was back in 1988. She was just 42 years old when she was sexually assaulted in her Orlando home.

For three decades she waited for DNA to link her attacker to the crime. But her case was one of 8,000 backlogged rape kits that had not been analyzed for DNA.

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But a recent law made sure those kits were tested, so there wasn’t a hit until now.

Gardner can’t tell us what she knows about the suspect because charges have not been filed on the case, but said the suspect is already behind bars.

And that gives her some closure.

“I can now focus on other things,” Gardner said.

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And that focus is now on Gail’s Law, named after her. If passed, it would mean a tracking system for victims so they know what is happening with their cases.

But the real end won’t come until she gets justice. And that could happen soon.

In a statement, Orlando Police said: “We’ve learned that Ms. Gardner’s case is one of several cases detectives are preparing to submit, as they collaborate with the State Attorney’s Office on this.”

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Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler,

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.