Nearly 1,700 rape kits are being tested after new funding
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Nearly 1,700 untested rape kits from a dozen San Diego County law enforcement agencies have been sent to an independent lab for testing, in hopes of putting a dent in the countywide backlog of untested kits, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
Among those tested over the past 17 months, results have come back on 1,344 kits, which are in the process of being uploaded into the FBI’s national DNA database, prosecutors said. The District Attorney’s Office is hopeful that the results will lead to new investigations, with early results indicating that about 40% of the kits contained DNA foreign to the victim.
To date, about $1.1 million has been spent on the testing, according to prosecutors.
District Attorney Summer Stephan said, “I’m proud of the excellent progress we’ve made on getting these kits tested, which may contain powerful evidence that can speak on behalf of victims and prevent a future assault. Rape cases leave victims with deep emotional and physical wounds. I’m committed to doing everything we can to solve their cases and I appreciate the dedication and hard work of all our county partners to get this project completed.”
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department submitted the largest number of kits, followed by the Escondido Police Department and Oceanside Police Department. The latest round of testing did not include any kits from the San Diego Police Department, which conducts its testing at its crime lab.