The Backlog:

Kentucky

On March 25, 2016, SB63 passed unanimously in the Kentucky House. This legislation requires law enforcement agencies to collect rape kits within 5 days and submit the rape kits to the lab within 30 days. Additionally, it requires faster lab analysis time: 90 days by 2018 and 60 days by 2020. It establishes a process for notifying victims of the progress of their cases, mandates that all law enforcement agencies in the state have trained sexual assault personnel on staff, and requires annual reporting to the legislature by the state lab and the Kentucky Sexual Assault Response Team Advisory Council on the status of rape kit testing.

Finally, it requires that the Secretary of the Cabinet of Health and Family Services designate a hospital as "SANE-ready" if they have a sexual assault nurse examiner on call 24 hours a day. The Cabinet is required to maintain a website with this information. This legislation is a major step forward in Kentucky. 

History

In September 2015, an audit revealed at least 3,090 untested rape kits in Kentucky. Testing is currently in progress, and legislation is currently pending that would require law enforcement agencies to submit all rape kits for testing moving forward.

The audit, conducted by Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen, was a result of a law passed in March 2015. It revealed 3,090 untested rape kits in the state: 1,859 untested kits in 87 law enforcement agencies and 1,231 untested kits at the Kentucky State Police laboratory. That same month, September 2015, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office announced the Kentucky State Police Forensic Laboratories was awarded $1,988,507 in funding to test 3,300 rape kits.

  • Backlog Status

Count
Counting Complete
Testing
In Testing
Resolved
Not Cleared
Size
3,090*

As reported by the Kentucky State Auditor's Office in September 2015

  • Reform Status

Tracking Testing Victim Notification
No Known Reform
Reform in Progress
Partial Reform
Complete Reform
  • Additional Information

On July 29, 2014, WLKY reported that the Louisville Metro Police Department had approximately 4,700 "DNA kits" in its custody, but it was unclear how many of those kits were connected to sexual assaults and how many were untested. The Department was able to confirm that it had 350 untested rape kits dating back to 2010.

In May 2015, the Lexington Police Department reported 283 untested kits in response to the statewide audit.

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