Does Ohio law require...
An Audit of Untested Rape Kits?
Tracking of Rape Kits?
Testing of all backlogged rape kits?
Testing of all rape kits in the future?
Victims to be notified of the status of their cases?
Funding for testing kits?
The extent of the untested rape kit backlog in Ohio is unknown. In 2014, Ohio enacted a law requiring law enforcement agencies to submit previously untested rape kits to a crime lab for testing within one year of enactment.* Ohio law does not require law enforcement agencies to count or track rape kits.
As of January 2017, 294 law enforcement agencies have submitted 13,931 rape kits for testing. The state lab has completed testing of 12,000 of these kits, resulting in 4,367 hits in the DNA database.
The 2014 law also required law enforcement to send all newly collected kits to a crime lab for testing within 30 days. The lab is required to complete analysis as soon as possible.
In 2015, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office awarded the Ohio Attorney General Bureau of Criminal Investigation $1,998,300 to test 2,630 rape kits. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office $1,993,741 to investigate and prosecute cases and re-engage survivors.
In 2016, the BJA awarded the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office an additional $2,000,000 to sustain this work. The BJA also awarded the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office $1,000,000 to expand their collection of DNA to help identify unknown offenders.
*The law follows years of reform in Ohio that began in 2011, when Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine established the Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative. Through the initiative, he asked law enforcement departments to send previously untested rape kits to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) for testing, at no cost to the departments.
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