Category Archives: Backlogs

2,156 untested sexual assault kits processed as state works to clear backlog

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released a report last year stating there more than 13,000 rape kits that had not been submitted or processed in the state.
The estimated cost to process these kits would be between $9 million and $32 million.

Will new robotics, new mandate spur faster testing of Utah’s rape kits ­— or fuel a new backlog?

Utah lawmakers have approved a new mandate to test all rape kits — but not all the funding needed to cover the additional work. And while robotics will speed up a key part of testing, a lack of staff may just mean a bottleneck at a different step in the process.

Checking on the status of untested rape kits in Florida

analystThe Florida Department of Law Enforcement took a look at the backlog throughout the state of rape kits in Florida. Their report from last year says it will take between $9 and 32 million to test old kits. It will take 3 to 9 years for the testing to happen.

Rape kit backlog still a problem in the Coastal Empire

sexual assault kitsSAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -GBI investigators in Savannah are taking us behind the scenes, showing the real reason thousands of rape kits in Georgia remain backlogged after lawmakers passed legislation requiring all kits be processed by the GBI.
While the state has made some progress overall since this legislation was passed, investigators haven’t made a dent in the number of cases in our area.

New research on rape kit processing sees improvements

Blue Helix2Since 2011, BYU nursing professor Julie Valentine has been researching the issues surrounding sexual assault kit processing and has been working with law enforcement agencies to improve the process.
Nearly one year ago, in a press conference at BYU, Valentine spoke to a room full of media about the results of her groundbreaking study, looking at the processing of 1,874 sexual assault kits, commonly called rape kits, in seven Utah counties between 2010 and 2013. This was the most comprehensive study ever conducted on sexual assault kits in the United States.

Hundreds of DNA matches as Houston clears rape kit backlog

DNA profilesHOUSTON — Evidence from more than 6,600 rape kits that went untested for years in Houston have turned up 850 hits in the FBI’s nationwide database of DNA profiles, marking a major step in the city’s $6 million effort to address the backlog, officials announced Monday.

State audit shows nearly half of rape kits not tested

idaho-state-policeNearly half of Idaho’s alleged sexual assault victims who underwent a forensic exam after reporting their case to authorities never had those results submitted to a lab for testing.
That’s according to new information gathered from law enforcement agencies across the state, showing that about 44 percent of rape kits conducted in Idaho never got tested.

Yearlong wait for DNA testing results frustrates Utah judge, who threatens to put a crime lab employee in jail

backlog sexual assault kitsNot unique • Corporon said Wednesday that her client’s case is hardly unique. He is not the first defendant to sit in jail for months as trial dates are canceled because of a lack of DNA results — and she is not the only defense attorney who has encountered this.
“Over and over again, in cases in which sex crimes are alleged, the critical DNA evidence is not available for many months, or a year or more,” she wrote in an email to The Salt Lake Tribune. “This impacts everyone in the system.”

Why there’s a 5-day window to collect evidence in rape cases

Backlog of rape kitsGRAND RAPIDS, MI – When a rape survivor comes into the YWCA for help, they’re already feeling traumatized and powerless. So the first thing the specially-trained staff try to do is put that person back in control.
As they walk the survivor through each step of a sexual assault medical forensic exam – and explain how evidence is collected from their body for a rape kit – the overall goal is to empower them.

Testing of Oregon’s shelved sexual assault kits nets first 5 DNA matches

sexual assault kitsSix months after three counties in Oregon began shipping hundreds of untested DNA samples from alleged victims of sexual assault to a Utah lab, the first results are in: Five match known offenders in a criminal database.

Update: Nevada backlog of untested rape kits

nv-sexual-assault-kitsCARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) – Rape kit testing is an expensive process. Sometimes rape kits aren’t tested because other evidence can be used to convict the suspect. Or a suspect can plead out and the tests don’t have to be conducted.

Rape Survivors Are Suing to Have Their Rape Kits Processed

san-francisco-rape-kitHeather Marlowe was raped at a party in May 2010, during the city’s popular Bay to Breakers footrace. She reported the assault and subjected herself to the four-hour forensic examination, which produces a cache of evidence commonly known as a rape kit. Kits can include semen, hair, and skin cells from the attacker, all of which can be used to identify a suspect. But the San Francisco police didn’t test her kit for more than two years—and today, they still haven’t managed to catch her attacker.

Progress on Testing Sexual Assault Kits

Justice Dept“Promega Corporation gratefully acknowledges the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, for allowing us to reproduce, in part or in whole, the video “Progress on Testing Sexual Assault Kits”. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this video are those of the speaker(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.”

Rape kit backlog reflects failure of justice in Alaska

alaska-state-crime-labLast fall, Gov. Bill Walker requested to know the number of rape kits held by the Alaska State Troopers and police departments around the state. Thirty-four of the 53 police departments have yet to report their numbers. The 19 that have, including the Troopers, have reported that their inventory goes back more than 20 years and is about 3,600 untested rape kits.

Victims’ advocates seeking justice for 1,400 DNA cases left in limbo

DNA LabAUSTIN (KXAN) — Victims’ advocates are calling on city leaders to reopen Austin Police Department’s DNA Lab.
The lab was shut down due to the lack of properly trained staff and outdated technology. The Travis County DA’s Office has identified nearly 1,400 DNA cases since the mid-1980s that may have been compromised by how the APD lab was testing and analyzing DNA mixtures.