Joyful Heart in the News

New national funding will clear Utah’s backlog of untested rape kits

September 10, 2015
The Salt Lake Tribune
The Associated Press

New York • An estimated 70,000 rape kits sitting in laboratories and evidence collection rooms across the country will be tested with a combined $79 million in federal and New York City funds designed to cut the backlog of untested DNA evidence in 27 states, officials announced Thursday.

Utah will receive $1.4 million, which will allow the state crime lab to outsource all untested rape kits in the Beehive State for testing, said Jay Henry, the laboratory director for the Utah Department of Public Safety. "We will be caught up with untested kits," he said.

The White House will contribute $41 million toward the effort, supporting not just testing efforts but also funding auditing and training for localities on police and forensic best practices. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who secured $38 million in asset forfeiture money, said he hopes tested cases will lead to convictions and, in turn, restore faith in the justice system for sexual assault victims.


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