September 7, 2019
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — Reports reveal that Arkansas has over a thousand untested rape kits, but a new law is looking to change the testing timeline and will allow the victim to know where their kit stands.
Executive Director of North West Arkansas Center for Sexual Assault Anne Shelley said that they are asked to wait six months for a kit to come back to law enforcement before an investigation can fully proceed.
According to Arkansas Crime Lab Director Kermit Channell, the law will make it mandatory that if a kit is collected, then it will be transported to law enforcement and submitted to the crime lab for testing.
Historically compliance has been poor, but the new law comes with a unique component.
A victim can log on to the Arkansas State Crime Lab website at any time and find out if their kit has been tested, along with where it is in the process.
The Arkansas Crime Lab recently caught up on the backlog of 1,300 untested kits and has just hired two more analysts.
As of now, Arkansas is caught up on the backlog and now testing the kits coming in.
Oklahoma remains at 7,200 untested kits, as they begin the process with the tracking system launching the Jan. 1.