Does Oklahoma law require...
An Audit of Untested Rape Kits?
Tracking of Rape Kits?
Testing of all backlogged rape kits?
Testing of all rape kits in the future?
Victims to be notified of the status of their cases?
Funding for testing kits?
The extent of the untested rape kit backlog in Oklahoma is unknown. Oklahoma law does not require law enforcement agencies to count, track, or test rape kits.
In 2014, The Accountability Project issued open records requests to bring the number of untested rape kits in Oklahoma City and Tulsa to light. Through this request, we uncovered a backlog of 3,783 untested kits in Tulsa. To date, we have not received any information in response to our request to Oklahoma City.
In 2017, Oklahoma legislators introduced multiple rape kit reform bills:
- S.B. 654, which would require a one-time audit of untested rape kits and establish a task force to develop recommendations for handling kits.
- S.B. 208 and H.B. 1873, which would grant victims the right to receive, upon request, updates in the testing status of their rape kits.
- H.B. 1502, which would require that hospitals notify local law enforcement within 24 hours of kit collection; require law enforcement to take custody of all evidence within five days; require law enforcement to submit newly collected rape kits to the lab for testing within 15 days; and require law enforcement agencies to report quarterly regarding the number of rape kits collected and tested, number of charges filed, and number of convictions obtained. The bill also requires the state lab to reach an average testing time of 60 days for rape kits by 2018 and 45 days for them by 2020; to complete testing on 45% of all previously untested kits by late 2018 and 100% of them by mid-2019; and to publish annual reports of statistics regarding kits collected and tested, charges filed, and convictions obtained statewide in the previous year.
- S.B. 346, which would require law enforcement agencies to conduct an annual audit of the number of untested kits in their possession and report the reasons for which these kits remain untested.
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