CINCINNATI -- Kentucky State Police and the Ohio Attorney General Bureau of Criminal Investigation received nearly $4 million combined for testing backlogged rape kits, officials announced this week.
Both Kentucky and Ohio have launched programs to test backlogged rape kits.
The Ohio attorney general’s office launched an initiative to test rape kits from across the state in 2011. As of Sept. 1, they’ve tested more than 8,200 kits through the initiative.
Ohio has more than 10,000 rape kits awaiting testing. The $1,998,300 the state received will pay for testing of 2,630 more kits.
In 2012, Kentucky State Police began collecting kits from departments across the state for testing. The $1,988,507 they received will pay for the testing of 3,300 rape kits.
“We now have the resources to address these backlogged rape kits, providing hope to the victims who had the courage to report the assault and undergo an invasive examination,” Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer said.
The funding for the rape kit testing came from the Manhattan, N.Y. district attorney’s office, which provided $38 million in grants to 32 jurisdictions in 20 states.
The funds for the testing came from the settlements with international banks that violated U.S. sanctions according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.
Across the country, the program is expected to fund the testing of more than 56,000 rape kits.
“These grants will generate leads in thousands of cases across the country, some of them decades old,” Vance said. “Tackling the national rape kit backlog means addressing a women’s and human rights issue that has been ignored for far too long. We are refusing t accept that some criminal justice problems are just too big – too ingrained, too controversial too expensive – to solve.”