Thanks to a federal consent decree designed to improve police practices, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) has virtually eliminated its backlog of untested sexual assault DNA collection kits. NOPD accomplished this by submitting the data to the FBI’s nationwide database. The Louisiana State Police completed a similarly massive undertaking by reducing its backlog in 2008, submitting more than 30,000 statewide DNA samples to the database. These steps represent important milestones for both agencies, but much more remains to be done to give rape victims confidence that the government is doing all it can to prosecute sex crimes.
LAS VEGAS — Metro Police say they have never delayed or dropped a criminal case because of a back-log of un-tested rape kits.
Metro’s response comes after a national advocacy group released data that shows only about 16 percent of the rape kits held by Metro have been tested for DNA.
NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Thousands of rape kits remain untested in four major U.S. cities, according to new data on rape kit backlogs released on Friday by the Joyful Heart Foundation.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Friday that forensic scientists with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) have tested more than 5,000 sexual assault kits as part of a special initiative to test rape kits that had never before been tested for DNA.
DENVER – Rape kits that went ignored by police across Colorado for years are now finally being analyzed under a new law prompted by a 7NEWS investigation, and the CALL7 Investigators got an exclusive look inside one of the labs that is processing them.
WASHINGTON — Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation Thursday renewing a soon to expire program that helps local governments cut their backlogs of unexamined DNA evidence in rape cases.
The program provides federal grants to state and local law enforcement agencies so they can speed their analyses of untested evidence kits. Experts say many thousands of such kits are languishing in communities around the country, including some that are many years old.
At the end of each performance of Heather Marlowe’s one-woman show about her 2010 rape “The Haze,” she makes a request to the audience: Write to Police Chief Greg Suhr to change the way San Francisco police investigate and handle rape cases.
That’s because The City — which reviewed its evidence for untested rape kits in 2013 after pressure from Marlowe — found it had several thousand kits that had never been sent to the lab, dating back more than a decade.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said Thursday that a backlog at the Illinois State Police crime lab was responsible for a nearly one-year delay in processing key DNA evidence that has led to charges against a Chicago Police commander for allegedly putting a gun in a suspect’s mouth.
Indictments are ready on 22 Memphis rape cases that were part of the city’s backlog of untested sexual assault kits.
Memphis Police Department [MPD] Deputy Chief Jim Harvey said some of those indictments are on known suspects, and some of them are on DNA profiles of unknown suspects collected from the kits.
Over the past two decades, DNA technology has become an invaluable tool for catching the guilty and exonerating the innocent. That’s why Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine started calling for old DNA evidence in late 2011, encouraging Ohio’s 800 law enforcement agencies to clear their testable sexual-assault evidence shelves.
AUSTIN — DNA evidence can be critical to solve a crime, but a big backlog of cases means it could be months, or even years, before some of those samples get tested.
Alameda County is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to reduce the amount of untested forensic evidence of sexual assaults — commonly called rape kits — with $41 million set aside by the federal government to help local police departments and crime laboratories analyze untested rape kits.
About $41 million has been earmarked to help expedite the nationwide processing of rape kits, which preserve evidence of sexual assault, authorities said Tuesday.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — State crime lab investigators found more than 130 DNA matches with potential rapists in July as part of the state’s rape kit testing initiative, the attorney general’s office announced Tuesday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. —Thousands of rape kits are collecting dust in crime labs across the country while many offenders remain free.
It’s become such a problem that Congress is considering legislation to give $41 million in grant money to help clear the backlog.