Thousands of backlogged rape kits still haven't been tested - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Thousands of backlogged rape kits still haven't been tested

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) - In response to an audit that revealed more than 3,000 rape kits have gone untested across the state, the Kentucky State Police crime lab has received $4.5 million. 

The funds, approved by the General Assembly, come from from a settlement with pharmaceutical companies accused of false marketing

"That money is gonna be used to buy new and additional equipment to test DNA, and it's going to be used to hire and train more people to ensure that this backlog never happens again," said Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear. 

The money will help KSP meet the requirements of Senate Bill 63, which sets timelines for when rape kits need to be submitted and tested. 

But the backlogged kits are still sitting evidence rooms. 

Officials say a $2 million grant from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office will pay to outsource testing the kits, but there's been a delay. 

"Unfortunately, the contract to test these in an outside lab has still not been finalized," Beshear said. "It's taken far too long. It's over in the finance cabinet."  

Officials say once a contract is set, they expect to see results and more arrests. Over the next two fiscal years, $1 million in settlement money will help law enforcement and prosecutors handle sexual assault cases. 

"When Detroit tested their first 3,000 backlogged rape kits, they identified over 300 potential serial rapists that were still out on the street." Beshear said. 

The goal is to get justice for victims of sexual assault and encourage others to come forward. 

"I don't want to point fingers for the past. I want to look forward to the future and how we can help survivors, really victims of these crimes become survivors," said sexual assault survivor Michelle Kuiper, 

The back log was discovered in 2015 after a statewide audit. 

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