The Backlog:

Salt Lake City

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, of 1,001 sexual assault investigations that occurred between 2003 to 2011, the Salt Lake City Police Department did not send 788 rape kits—nearly 79%—to the state crime lab for testing. As many as 163 rape kits collected during that time period were destroyed before being tested. 

Since June 1, 2014, the Department has been posting general information about the status of backlogged rape kit on its website. This information does not include names of survivors or perpetrators or any other specific details. The website only states why each kit remained untested and whether testing is now recommended. Of the first 40 cases posted, detectives recommended testing the rape kit in only ten cases. To prevent an additional backlog at the state crime lab, the Police Department is looking to hire a private lab to process previously untested kits. 

Since August 2014, the Salt Lake City Council has been planning to enact an ordinance that would require law enforcement to submit every rape kit connected to a reported rape for testing. Based on similar legislation in San Francisco, the proposed ordinance would require police to collect kits from health care providers within 72 hours and mandate the testing of kits within 14 days. The Council's Chairman suggested a two-part ordinance that would address backlogged kits as well as newly collected kits. 

  • Backlog Status

Count
Partially Counted
Testing
Testing Status Unknown
Resolved
Not Cleared
Size
788*

*As reported by the Salt Lake Tribune in April 2014.

  • Additional Information

On November 5, the Salt Lake Tribune announced that the Salt Lake City Police Department had received a $270,000 grant from the Department of Justice to process backlogged rape kits and other cold case DNA. 

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