sunny.png
Saturday February 22nd, 2020 2:56PM

Georgia agency reports progress in state's rape kit backlog

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation's crime lab is making progress in a years-long effort to test thousands of backlogged sexual assault evidence packages, authorities said.

The agency's goal is to clear out the old rape kits by the first of next year, allowing it to then concentrate on new criminal cases coming in for analysis.

"We see a light at the end of the tunnel," Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan said.

The push to test a backlog of almost 10,000 sexual assault kits began after 1,351 untested rape kits were discovered in storage in 2015 at Grady Memorial Hospital, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported .

The 2016 Georgia Legislature responded by passing a law requiring all Georgia law enforcement agencies to send stored rape kits to the GBI headquarters in Decatur for testing. Eventually those numbered 2,476, which was in addition to the old evidence packages from Grady.

The lab already had more than 5,400 evidence kits from sex crimes prior to 1999 that had not been processed because the technology did not exist at the time, the Atlanta newspaper reported.

Also, the lab was logging in an average of 250 new sexual assault kits each month.

"We're in this position because the system failed, but I am encouraged we've taken action to fix it and we're making progress. But it never should have happened in the first place," said state Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta, one of the sponsors of the 2016 legislation.

The backlog has since been cut by more than two-thirds and is now less than 2,900. The GBI has contracted with an outside lab to process the older cases while the state's 50 scientists and technicians focus on new cases.

"I'm pleased, but when there is still a third outstanding it's hard to jump up and down with joy," said state Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, one of the sponsors of the legislation that required law enforcement to submit rape kits to the GBI.

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Clinton stars as central villain in GOP's midterm strategy
Hillary Clinton isn't on the ballot, but she's starring in the Republicans' midterm strategy for 2018
11:33AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Trump wrongly claims NKorea has agreed to 'denuclearization'
President Donald Trump is wrongly claiming North Korea has agreed to "denuclearization" before his potential meeting with Kim Jong Un.
11:09AM ( 42 minutes ago )
Pakistan: Gunmen kill 2 Shiites in Quetta
Police in Pakistan say gunmen have killed two Shiites and wounded a third in Quetta, the latest in a recent series of attacks on the religious minority
11:03AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
AP Online - Georgia News
Clinton stars as central villain in GOP's midterm strategy
Hillary Clinton isn't on the ballot, but she's starring in the Republicans' midterm strategy for 2018
11:33AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Trump wrongly claims NKorea has agreed to 'denuclearization'
President Donald Trump is wrongly claiming North Korea has agreed to "denuclearization" before his potential meeting with Kim Jong Un.
11:09AM ( 42 minutes ago )
Pakistan: Gunmen kill 2 Shiites in Quetta
Police in Pakistan say gunmen have killed two Shiites and wounded a third in Quetta, the latest in a recent series of attacks on the religious minority
11:03AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Macron to push Trump on Iran deal, says there's no 'Plan B'
French President Emmanuel Macron is urging U.S. President Donald Trump to stick with the Iranian nuclear accord, arguing that there's no "Plan B"
10:58AM ( 53 minutes ago )
4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought
Police in Tennessee say 4 people are dead after shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville early Sunday
10:55AM ( 56 minutes ago )