Category Archives: Backlogs

Attorney General DeWine Announces 13,000 Rape Kits Tested as Part of Special Initiative

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that more than 13,000 sexual assault kits have now been analyzed as part of a special Attorney General’s Office initiative to test thousands of previously untested rape kits in the state of Ohio.
Nearly 300 local law enforcement agencies submitted a total of 13,931 sexual assault kits for analysis as part of Attorney General DeWine’s Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative. As of October 1, 2017, 13,145 of the submitted kits – or 94 percent – have been tested by forensic scientists with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).

Continued funding needed for DNA lab

Reduced federal funding for the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification comes with serious national implications — especially for smaller law enforcement agencies.
The National Institute of Justice has diverted grant funding that used to go to labs analyzing DNA to identify missing people and the unidentified dead.

State officials say 95 untested sexual assault kits sent for testing

The Iowa Attorney General’s Office said that 95 out of more than 4,200 untested sexual assault kits that have been sitting in evidence in law enforcement agencies across the state have been sent for testing as of Friday.

61 cases under investigation as rape kit test results return

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The State Attorney’s Office and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office are getting results from rape kits that were left untested for years.
About a year and a half ago, there was a big push to test DNA evidence that had stacked up for decades. More than 1,400 untested rape kits were sent to the lab from the Northeast Florida area.
The results are being put into a national database to see if a suspect can be identified by tracing DNA — and it’s working.

New money means more GBI scientists to test rape kits for DNA

For years, thousands of rape kits sat in storage at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation untouched and untested as the agency’s crime lab found itself short-staffed and unable to keep pace.
But an influx of more than $850,000 in new funding from the state to add more scientists and lab technicians has officials hopeful the agency will eventually eliminate the rape kit backlog.

Orange County supervisors pass $6.2 billion budget, which increases deputies’ pay, hires more forensic scientists

The sheriff’s department also will add four new deputy positions to patrol the county’s unincorporated areas, four crime lab analysts to test DNA in criminal cases, and six forensic scientists to address a backlog in testing sexual assault evidence. Those additional scientists will help process rape kits in under a month – which in line with national recommendations – instead of the 30 to 45 days the process now takes in the county.

Virginia deserves applause for its work to eliminate a rape kit backlog

NOTHING IS a more powerful symbol of the failure of the criminal justice system to take sexual assault seriously than the tens of thousands of rape kits that languish — untested — in police departments and crime labs across the country. So when authorities undertake to eliminate the existing backlog and prevent future ones, it is a sign of a new approach that prioritizes getting justice for victims and holding offenders accountable. That is what is happening in Virginia, and it should be applauded.

Texas becomes first in nation to implement comprehensive rape kit reform

NEW YORK – The Joyful Heart Foundation announced on Wednesday that Texas has become the first state in the nation to implement comprehensive rape kit reform. With the passage of H.B. 281, which requires the Department of Public Safety to establish a comprehensive statewide tracking system to monitor rape kits from collection to analysis, Texas has now enacted all six pillars of reform recommended by Joyful Heart and leaders in this field.

Woman’s sex assault kit not tested until 5 years after rape

PORTLAND, ORE. Court records state Portland police didn’t pursue or submit evidence for a sexual assault case until five years after the assault was reported, despite police having the name of a suspect and a sexual assault kit.

State says it will do DNA tests on 274 Green Bay rape kits; testing could begin next week

GREEN BAY – An email that appeared in a detective’s mailbox last week brought good news for the city’s sexual-assault victims — and the police who work on their behalf.
The missive brought news Green Bay police had been awaiting for weeks: They could finally send more than 200 rape-evidence kits to a Madison laboratory for testing.

Garda told State lab lacks resources for full DNA analysis

The Garda have been told that full DNA tests of crime scenes will not be carried out in the case of “volume crimes”, such as burglary or car theft, due to limited resources.
Ireland’s first DNA database was established a year ago and has been widely praised for linking crimes to offenders on more than 600 occasions, including in 350 burglaries. The database now contains some 10,000 profiles from suspects, convicted criminals and sex offenders – a figure that is increasing by about 1,000 every month.

44 ‘hits’ found in DNA testing of old, backlogged Virginia rape evidence

DNA testing in 431 cases of collected but previously untested biological evidence recovered in Virginia rape cases has resulted in 44 DNA database “hits.”

24 Years Later, DNA Leads to Arrest in Manhattan Attack on a Girl

It was one of those ugly, unsolved crimes that seem to haunt many neighborhoods in New York City: In February 1993, a man with a knife abducted an 11-year-old girl in an apartment building hallway in the Hamilton Heights section of Manhattan, forced her to the roof and sexually assaulted her.
The girl was taken to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, where nurses gathered physical evidence from her body, but no one was ever arrested. The DNA of her attacker was not even tested until 2002, when the city undertook a project to clear a backlog of rape-evidence kits.

Mariska Hargitay’s Doc ‘I Am Evidence’ Is An Eye-Opening Look At The Rape Kit Backlog

If you were to watch almost any episode of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” it’s likely that some form of sexual assault would take place, the victim would be given a rape kit at the hospital, and the dedicated detectives investigating would send the kit off to be tested for DNA evidence.
But what happens during the course of an hourlong procedural rarely aligns with reality, something “SVU” star Mariska Hargitay knows all too well. The actress, who has played Lieutenant Olivia Benson on the NBC series for 18 seasons, is a producer on “I Am Evidence,” an eye-opening new HBO documentary which premiered last week at the Tribeca Film Festival. The doc highlights the hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits that sit in evidence rooms in police departments across the country.

AFMES, helping bring loved ones home one FRS at a time

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. – Processing of Family Reference Samples have previously been performed by the sections of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Department of Defense DNA Registry but has been moved to a section specifically devoted to that mission.
In October 2016, the Family Reference Sample-Laboratory Automation group was established with the primary mission of processing FRSs for the past accounting community, as well as current day operations and internal reference samples needed.