Washington to use federal funds to test rape kits
Washington has been working to address the backlog of untested rape evidence kits. Now, money from the federal government will help speed the process. An inventory done by the Washington Attorney General's Office last October revealed there were 6,500 untested sexual assault kits sitting in law enforcement evidence rooms around the state. This, despite the extra resources being allocated by the state Legislature to deal with the backlog.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced he is committing $750,000 from a Department of Justice grant to test more kits.
"Each one of these sexual assault kits tells the story of a survivor and we need to get those tested and do a better job of testing them," Ferguson said.
Ferguson says the money will help the state test about another 1,500 kits. Tests of rape kits have helped solve cold cases around the country and in Washington.
Last year, a Seattle man was charged with the 2007 kidnapping and rape of a 14-year-old girl. His DNA was in a rape kit collected that year, but not tested until a decade later.