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The Backlog

Tags: ohio

Across the country, the rape kit backlog is making headlines. Journalists are uncovering backlogs, jurisdictions are implementing reforms to track and test rape kits and citizens are taking action. In the Media Center, you'll find the latest information about the backlog, including: commentary from the END THE BACKLOG staff and backlog reformers, first-person testimonials from those impacted by the backlog, an archive of news articles, op-eds, investigative reports, legislation and government publications we've identified, and more.

THE BACKLOG BLOGMarch 18, 2013

Two Indictments Filed as Cleveland Begins to Clear Its Backlog

The first two criminal indictments, formal statements charging a defendant with a crime, have been filed in Cuyahoga County, Ohio as a result of Attorney General Mike DeWine’s initiative to clear the state’s rape kit backlog, with many more expected to follow. As we shared recently, 53 law enforcement agencies from across Ohio have submitted 2,465 backlogged rape kits, more than 1,000 of which came from Cleveland. From approximately 600 kits tested so far, 90 DNA hits have resulted.

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ENDTHEBACKLOGFebruary 24, 2013

Cities in Illinois, Texas and Ohio Working to Clear Their Backlogs

There has been a flurry of reports in the news recently about the steps several cities across the country have taken to eliminate their rape kit backlogs. These cities are in varying stages of analyzing their untested kits and re-engaging the survivors whose kits were part of the backlog. Two of the cities are located in states—Illinois and Texas—that have passed legislation requiring the testing of all rape kits booked into evidence. The others are located in Ohio, where the Attorney General has encouraged law enforcement agencies to test all kits.

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ENDTHEBACKLOGDecember 11, 2011

Ohio Attorney General Recommends New Policy for Testing Rape Kits

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced last Monday that a new unit at the state’s crime lab will handle backlogged rape kits. Four newly hired forensic scientists will staff the new unit and are expected to process 1,500 cases in their first year and double that amount in subsequent years.

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EndTheBacklogOctober 25, 2011

Cleveland Heights Under-Reports Sexual Assaults

A recent investigation by The Plain Dealer into almost 90 police reports made in Cleveland Heights reveals that officials have incorrectly categorized and chronically misinformed the public of the number of sex crimes reported in the city.

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EndTheBacklogAugust 3, 2011

Cleveland Law Enforcement Learns Lessons in Responding to Sexual Violence from Anthony Sowell Case

Last month, we wrote about evidence contained in an untested rape kit that linked to Anthony Sowell who was, at the time, standing trial for murdering 11 women in Ohio. Sowell was convicted this week. Sentencing begins later in August.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGJune 22, 2011

Ohio Case Shines Light on Problems with Sexual Assault Response

Last month we posted about the Cleveland Heights Police Department that failed to test a survivor’s rape kit from 2009. The evidence contained in her rape kit linked to Anthony Sowell, who is currently standing trial for the murder of 11 women in Ohio.

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EndTheBacklogMay 23, 2011

Ohio Attorney General calls for Statewide Protocol for Rape Kit Testing

Following a disclosure by Cuyahoga County prosecutors that an untested rape kit linked to a serial-killing suspect, Ohio’s Attorney General Mike DeWine has called for a statewide protocol based on best practices of how rape case evidence should be handled and tested. He will be forming an 11-member Sexual Assault Kit Testing Commission to produce the “Ohio Model Sexual Assault Kit Testing Guide.”

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