2,156 untested sexual assault kits processed as state works to clear backlog

2016 FDLE report revealed more than 13,000 rape kits backlogged

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released a report last year stating there more than 13,000 rape kits that had not been submitted or processed in the state.

The estimated cost to process these kits would be between $9 million and $32 million.

To reduce the number of backlogged rape kits in the state, Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation in 2016 to push kits through the testing system.

The new law went into effect July 1, 2016, and stated that rape kits must be submitted within 30 days and must be processed within 120 days of being submitted.

“This legislation will provide thousands of women with a renewed sense of safety and closure as they heal from the horrific crime of rape. I am thankful for the hard work of Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Florida Legislature to make sure perpetrators are immediately brought to justice. This legislation will also help eliminate the backlog of rape testing kits in Florida and reduce future turnaround time for processing evidence,” Scott said in the announcement of signing the new law.

As of January of this year, the FDLE has completed 2,156 untested rape kits and plans to have 8,600 completed by 2019, said Angela Starke, Florida Department of Law Enforcement public information officer.

Between October 2015 and September 2016, 1,814 previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits were completed and 406 matches were made using Combined DNA Index System.

A CODIS hit occurs when an attacker's DNA matches DNA that is is in the database.

Between July 2016 and September 2016, 1,030 kits were received and 640 were completed and 66 CODIS hits were made.

Since the passing of the law, FDLE received 553 cases and 103 were completed.

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