rape kits

Ryland Barton

  Kentucky has received a $3 million federal grant that will fund a new unit in the attorney general’s office to investigate sexual assault cold cases.

belchonock, 123rf Stock Photo

A convicted rapist in Kentucky has been the first person indicted in authorities' statewide effort to test more than 3,000 old rape kits. 

Shawn Hempel, 123RF Stock Photo

Kentucky is making progress in addressing a backlog of untested rape kits.  

Shawn Hempel, 123rf Stock Photo

State officials say every certified law enforcement agency in Kentucky has adopted sexual assault response policies. 

Kentucky Office of the Attorney General via YouTube

Researchers at the University of Louisville will monitor Kentucky's quest to rid itself of a backlog of untested rape kits and offer recommendations on how to avoid such log-jams in the future.

kyoag

Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office is providing law enforcement agencies a set of resources and guidelines to aid in investigating results of more than 3,000 backlogged rape kits. 

The so-called SAFE ‘tool kit’ includes instructions for managing the results, pre-planning investigations, reviewing DNA results and notifying and interviewing victims.  

Becca Schimmel, WKU Public Radio

Attorney General Andy Beshear is commending victims of sexual assault for stepping forward and reporting what happened to them. He spoke in Bowling Green Wednesday about the backlog of 3,000 untested rape kits in Kentucky. Beshear said everything must be done to get the kits tested as soon as possible.

Ryland Barton via Twitter, @RylandKY

Governor Matt Bevin has ceremonially signed legislation that requires all untested sexual assault examination kits to be sent to the Kentucky State Police crime lab by the beginning of next year.

The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office is providing some additional money to test rape kits that have languished in the state crime lab. 

Attorney General Andy Beshear has announced his office is providing $4.5 million to the Kentucky State Police crime lab to buy additional equipment and hire more workers to conduct the testing.  The money comes from unrelated lawsuit settlements won by the state.

Beshear said the kits are more than a box on a dusty shelf.

"They represent victims who have had the courage to not only report, but to undergo one of the most thorough physical, forensics examinations that can be asked for, and what have we done?  We've locked that courage in a box and let in languish on a shelf, but no more," stated Beshear.

An audit last year found that more than 3,000 kits in the commonwealth had gone untested due to a lack of funding and staff. 

Kentucky Office of the Attorney General via Facebook

Advocates of survivors of sexual assault are hailing passage of the SAFE Act during the current Kentucky legislative session. The Sexual Assault Forensic Exam measure addresses a backlog of more than 3,000 untested rape kits and calls for more training and data collection.

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