Results from first 'backlogged' sexual assault kits expected this month

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A recent statewide study by the Sexual Assault Response Team Advisory Committee indicates Kentucky taxpayers and rape victims were on the hook for $4.2 million while nearly 1,000 rape kits went untested.

The statewide Sexual Assault Response Team Advisory Committee released the report that spelled out the tangible cost to victims and taxpayers of crimes committed by offenders who remained free because sexual assault kits weren't tested.

The study includes losses suffered by victims -- like medical costs and lost earnings. It also includes money spent on police protection and prison sentences. 

The study also found that 87 suspects identified when the kits were finally tested went on to commit more crimes after the alleged assaults, including two people who were later convicted of killing someone. The report states that the tangible cost of each of these crimes exceeds $1 million.

According to the study, about half the offenders who went on to commit crimes after the sexual assaults in which the kits went untested were not known suspects at the time. Some of these DNA profiles immediately would have been matched to named offenders, potentially aiding authorities in pursuing arrest and prosecution.

The report suggests the reason for the backlog is high turnover at the Forensic Laboratory caused by low salaries and says there's a need for increased funding because Kentucky's forensic analysts are the lowest paid in the country. 


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