In March 2015, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed legislation that addresses the state's backlog of untested sexual assault kits. The legislation, introduced by Senator Denise Harper Angel, directs the Auditor of Public Accounts to study the number of sexual assault evidence kits in the posession of Kentucky law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies. Click here for more information on Kentucky's audit.
In September 2015, Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen announced the findings of the state audit, which revealed the state has 3,090 untested rape kits. The audit identified 1,859 untested kits in 87 law enforcement agencies and 1,231 untested kits at the Kentucky State Police laboratory. Earlier in the month, 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.
While this law will allow us to have a more accurate picture of the backlog in Kentucky, the legislature must take additional steps to provide survivors with greater access to justice, including requiring the testing of all rape kits booked into evidence. Take action today to advocate for transparency and change from our elected officials.
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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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