Ohio Attorney General Issues Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative Update for August

In Cuyahoga County alone, more than 515 defendants have been indicted following DNA testing conducted as part of the effort.

August 9, 2016

OLUMBUS, OH — A status update on the progress of DNA testing being conducted as part of the Ohio Attorney General's Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative has been released. As of August 1, 2016, 294 law enforcement agencies have submitted 13,908 kits to be tested as part of this initiative.

Forensic scientists with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) have completed testing on a total of 11,472 kits, resulting in 4,129 hits in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

In Cuyahoga County alone, more than 515 defendants have been indicted following DNA testing conducted as part of the effort.

Background on the Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative:

  • The initiative was launched in 2011 after learning that many law enforcement agencies across the state were in possession of rape kits, some of which were decades old, that had never been sent to a DNA lab for testing. Attorney General DeWine then made an open call to law enforcement to send their kits to BCI for DNA testing at no cost to them.
  • To ensure the timely analysis of the thousands of kits submitted as part of the SAK Testing Initiative, 10 additional forensic scientists were hired. By hiring this additional staff, the older kits are tested as quickly as possible, without slowing down the testing of the nearly 10,600 rape kits associated with recent crimes tested by BCI as part of their regular casework since 2011.
  • Senate Bill 316, which went into effect in March 2015, required Ohio law enforcement agencies to submit any remaining previously untested sexual assault kits associated with a past crime to a crime laboratory by March 23, 2016. Of the nearly 14,000 kits submitted to BCI as part of the SAK Testing Initiative, 4,578 were submitted after the law went into effect. The law also requires that all newly collected rape kits be submitted to a crime lab within 30 days after law enforcement determines a crime has been committed.

http://home.iape.org/features/headline-evidence-news/articles-evidence-news.html

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