Heller introduces bill to eliminate rape kit testing backlog
Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., have introduced legislation designed to eliminate the nationwide backlog in testing rape DNA kits.
Heller said the testing is imperative to give law enforcement the DNA evidence needed to solve sexual assault crimes.
“This legislation could help solve cases nationwide and bring closure to victims and families,” he said.
Maloney said a sexual assault occurs every two minutes in the U.S.
“By processing this evidence, we can prevent rapists from attacking more innocent victims and ensure that the survivors and their families receive justice,” she said.
There are an estimated 180,000 untested rape kits currently in police storage across the country.
Heller said the legislation also addresses other problems that deny justice to victims of sexual assault – including denial of free rape kits to survivors and the shortage of professionals with the training to administer the rape kits.