The Backlog:

Salt Lake City

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, of 1,001 sexual assault investigations that occurred between 2003 to 2011, the Salt Lake City Police Department did not send 788 rape kits—nearly 79%—to the state crime lab for testing. As many as 163 rape kits collected during that time period were destroyed before being tested. 

In November 2014, after months of tense discussions between the police department and city council, Police Chief Chris Burbank reported that the rape kit backlog would be cleared by the end of the year. Chief Burbank said that all rape kits in the Salt Lake City Police Department storage would be analyzed with state and federal funding.

Salt Lake City Council is planning to enact an ordinance that would require law enforcement to submit every rape kit connected to a reported rape for testing. Based on similar legislation in San Francisco, the proposed ordinance would require police to collect kits from health care providers within 72 hours and mandate the testing of kits within 14 days. 

  • Backlog Status

Count
Counting Complete
Testing
In Testing
Resolved
Not Cleared
Size
788*

*As reported by the Salt Lake Tribune in April 2014.

  • Additional Information

In June 2014, the Salt Lake City Police Department began posting general information about the status of backlogged rape kit on its website. This information does not include names or any other specific details and only states why each kit remained untested and whether testing is now recommended. Of the first 40 cases posted, detectives recommended testing the rape kit in just ten cases.

On November 5, the Salt Lake Tribune announced that the Department had received a $270,000 grant from the Department of Justice to process backlogged rape kits and other cold case DNA. 

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