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Category Archives: Backlogs
WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday promoted President Barack Obama’s request for $35 million to help test more rape kits, saying it will help fight crime.
The money is included in the $3.9 trillion spending plan for the 2015 budget year that Obama unveiled this week. It would be used to provide grants of unspecified amounts to states and local governments, spending that would require approval from Congress.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Channel 9 obtained records that show the Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime lab is drowning in a backlog of sexual battery DNA kits that need to be tested for evidence, which could delay justice for rape victims.
City Weekly reported in January on a survey conducted by a veteran Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner showing that 94 percent of reported adult sexual assaults in Salt Lake County were not prosecuted. The shocking statistic prompted lawmakers to dig into the logistics of how rape kits are often left on law-enforcement shelves, and they soon learned that the problem is not limited to Salt Lake County.
Detroit — Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy detailed for city officials Tuesday her ongoing effort to process more than 10,000 untested rape kits and discussed the challenges of running a “severely” underfunded and understaffed office.
Solving violent crimes requires good old-fashioned detective work, but time and money can make a big difference.Tacoma police have shown that with the number of cold case homicides they’ve resolved and sexual assault cases they’ve worked using a $225,000 grant the department received in late 2012.
Across the country, it’s not uncommon for rape kits to go untested for DNA. That includes Ohio, which is among the states that has made an effort to address the problem. Free testing through the Ohio attorney general’s office has helped solve some cases. Local agencies are awaiting results on their sexual assault kits.
LORTON, Va., Feb. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Bode Technology Group, Inc. (Bode), a leading provider of forensic DNA services, announced today sexual assault kits (rape kits) from the Alameda County rape kit backlog were shipped to Bode for DNA analysis under a multi-agency collaboration.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With possibly hundreds of thousands of rape kits untested across the country, a number of states are proposing legislation to address backlogs that in at least one case dates back nearly three decades.
In Memphis, Tenn., alone, there are more than 12,000 untested rape kits going back to the 1980s, according to the New York-based Rape Kit Action Project, which has been tracking the backlogs nationwide. In the entire state of Texas, there are about 16,000 untested kits collecting dust in police evidence rooms.
DNA evidence has become an increasingly powerful tool for solving crimes. Law enforcement officials use DNA to solve homicides and sexual assaults, and cold cases. Police detectives even collect DNA in burglaries.
But many police departments have large backlogs of DNA samples waiting for laboratory testing, leaving many victims in a state of flux — and crimes unsolved.
In Cleveland, Ohio, a serial rapist and murderer was convicted of crimes last year that will keep him in prison for the rest of his life. His case made the headlines because his neighbor was Ariel Castro, the man who kept three young women hostage as sex slaves for years. Following Castro’s high-profile arrest, investigators began re-examining Cleveland’s cold cases and processing their backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits, known as “rape kits.” One such rape kit, collected in 1993 but not tested until 2013, helped the FBI link Castro’s neighbor, Elias Acevedo Sr., to two murders and multiple rapes.
As Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced Wednesday, Feb. 12, that the city would have help from a national nonprofit on the Memphis Police Department’s backlog of 12,000 rape kits, criticism was growing of the problems in the local criminal justice system that led to the backlog.
The backlog, according to Memphis police, began building steadily in 1985 as investigators using the kits took DNA samples from rape victims and police stored them without ever processing them