Legislation targets rape kit backlog

The Washington State Patrol Crime Lab can currently test only 213 kits per month, with a backlog of around 10,000 kits.

April 11, 2019

OLYMPIA — A bill to reduce the processing time for sexual assault kits has passed the Washington Legislature in two unanimous votes.

Sexual assault kits have remained untested for over a decade in Washington. The Washington State Patrol Crime Lab can currently test only 213 kits per month, with a backlog of around 10,000 kits.

Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, is the sponsor of this legislation and has worked on the issue throughout her time in the Legislature. Orwall testified on the five serial rapists who have been identified since the process of ending the rape kit backlog began in 2015.

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