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Backed logged rape kits - What are you doing with them?

Verify: How often does evidence from rape kits lead to criminal charges?

August 18th, 2023

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sexual assault evidence collection kits are used to recover DNA from a victim after an assault in the hopes it will lead to an arrest.

But how often does this evidence actually result in criminal charges?

North Carolina is currently working through its backlog of rape kits. According to the Attorney General's Office, the state is making progress on untested kits.

But what is the exact process for victims who want to gather evidence using a sexual assault kit, and how long should a victim wait before filing a police report?


According to the North Carolina Department of Justice's Sexual Assault Kit Tracking dashboard, in Mecklenburg County, 452 kits that require DNA testing have been submitted, and of those kits, 419 have been tested already. Data also shows 123 of those test results were placed into CODIS, the national DNA database. Of those kits in CODIS, there were 35 "matches," which resulted in three arrests so far.

The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, or Rainn said DNA evidence from a sexual assault can be collected from the crime scene, but it can also be collected from a victim's body, clothes, and other personal belongings.

Rainn said a victim should always request a rape kit after an assault because the kit itself is free for all victims, and getting DNA evidence can increase the likelihood of a prosecution.

A victim can also complete a rape kit without actually reporting a crime first. Rainn said the rape kit ensures that the forensic evidence will be safely preserved if the victim decides to file a police report at a later time.

Attorney Gary Mauney said that while North Carolina does not have a statute of limitations when it comes to reporting a crime like sexual assault, the longer you wait to contact police, the harder it will be for prosecutors to build a case.

"The difficulty for the police and for the prosecutor is that they're farther away, you get in time from when the crime occurs the more difficult it's going to be for them to prove the dea on the criminal side is got to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt. that's a very high standard," Mauney said.


Requesting rape kit in North Carolina |

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