Ohio Attorney General DeWine Announces Sexual Assault Kit Testing Status Update
September 4, 2015 - 3:12 PM
COLUMBUS - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today released
a status update on the progress of DNA testing being conducted as part
of the Ohio Attorney General's Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing
As of September 1, 2015, 198 law enforcement agencies have submitted
10,764 kits to be tested as part of the initiative. Of those, 1,430
kits were submitted after Senate Bill 316 took effect.
Forensic scientists with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation
(BCI) have completed testing on a total of 8,416 of those kits,
resulting in 3,121 hits in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
In Cuyahoga County alone, 370 defendants have been indicted following DNA testing conducted as part of the effort.
Attorney General DeWine launched the initiative in 2011 after learning
that dozens of 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, Attorney General DeWine hired 10
additional forensic scientists. By hiring this additional staff, the
older kits are tested as quickly as possible, without slowing down the
testing of the more than 8,280 rape kits associated with recent crimes
tested by BCI as part of their regular casework since 2011.
Senate Bill 316, which went into effect on March 23, 2015, now requires
Ohio law enforcement agencies to submit any remaining previously
untested sexual assault kits associated with a past crime to a crime
laboratory within one year. 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.
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