Crime / Courts

14,000 rape kits tested: DeWine announces rape kits help bring charges to hundreds

Nikki Blankenship
Scioto County Candor

Friday afternoon Attorney General (AG) and candidate for governor, Mike DeWine announced that his office had helped to bring thousands of rape victims closer to justice.
In 2011, DeWine started the Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative after learning that law enforcement agencies across the state were in possession of thousands of rape kits, some of which were decades old, that had never been sent to a crime laboratory for DNA analysis.
As a result of DeWine’s efforts, in 2014 lawmakers mandated that police departments test sexual assault kits within 30 days of the crime.
At that time, nearly 14,000 rape kits were collecting dust in evidence, untested. According to DeWine, some of the rape kits were close to 20 years old. He added that more than 300 law enforcement agencies across the state were responsible for the lack of testing.
“Evidence from any rape kit associated with a crime no matter how old should and must be tested,” DeWine stated Friday.
Even before policies went into effect, all 14,000 kits were submitted to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI). Friday, the AG announced that all 14,000 had finally been tested.
DeWine explained that when rape kits go untested, it is unfair to the victims who turn over such evidence to help in the investigation.
“And then you find out five years later or ten years later that no one ever tested it; so, it was wrong, and it was a wrong that we had to correct,” DeWine expressed.
The AG confirmed that hundreds of suspects have been charged as a result of the rape kit results.
BCI has been working on testing the kits since 2011 and have solved more than 5,000 cases because of the test results.

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