Nevada attorney general says rape kit backlog tests completed
Attorney General Aaron Ford says Nevada’s sexual assault kit testing backlog has now been completed.
He said all previously backlogged rape kits from before 2016 have now been tested including more than 1,100 kits from Northern Nevada.
Ford said that along with completion of testing Southern Nevada kits earlier this year, this completes the goal of updating all previously untested sexual assault kits in Nevada.
The program was established in 2015 to eliminate decades of untested kits, some from many years back.
A total of 7,855 kits were inventories and lab experts found 1,083 DNA matches.
Ford said that resulted in a total of 64 arrests and 121 arrest warrants.
“Now every Nevadan impacted by the state’s sexual assault kit backlog can rest easy knowing that their results are in hand and that law enforcement stands ready to assist should they decide to pursue justice,” he said.
Washoe Sheriff Dennis Balaam said completion of the testing program, “is a major milestone that has been years in the making.”
Since 2015, Nevada has allocated almost $15 million to fund the initiative including some $8 million in grant funding from the federal Department of Justice, nearly $4 million from the AG’s office and $3 million from the Nevada Legislature.
Lawmakers followed that with a 2017 law mandating the AG help establish a statewide program to track sexual assault kits. That program went live in 2019. The system allows victims to track their cases from when they report a sexual assault.
Using the system, law enforcement review the results along with prosecutors.