Cleveland, which is located in Cuyahoga County, has been leading the way in securing cold case convictions after submitting nearly 4,000 backlogged rape kits for testing as part of Ohio's Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative.
The untested kits date back to 1985.
As legislative sessions have come to an end in states across the country, progress has been made in efforts to address the rape kit backlog.
Over the past several weeks, the colors of the ENDTHEBACKLOG map, which demonstrates everything we currently know about the rape kit backlog nationwide, have been changing.
As states across the country have opened their legislative sessions since the start of the new year, ENDTHEBACKLOG has been watching closely for rape kit reforms. Starting in 2010, the legislatures in Illinois, Texas and Colorado blazed the trail for mandating the testing of all rape kits booked into police evidence. Other states are beginning to follow their lead to varying degrees.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Mike DeWine released his office’s monthly update on the progress of rape kit testing in Ohio.
Last week, the Chicago Tribune reported that the Illinois State Police have completed testing and analysis of the 4,000 kits that were part of the rape kit backlog in Illinois, a milestone in the effort to end the backlog of untested rape kits.
Last week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released the latest numbers on his state’s efforts to end its backlog of untested rape kits, which currently stands at 4,956.
Here in the United States, which came first: A victim-blaming rape culture, or a police force that doesn’t take sexual assault cases seriously?