Alaska: Backlog Cleared in Sexual Assault Examination Kits

Anchorage, AK (STL.News) Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy delivered on his promise to clear the backlog on testing for thousands of unsubmitted sexual assault examination kits from across the state.

“We’ve put in place internal steps to prevent this kind of backlog from ever happening again and added resources to the State crime lab to ensure every kit is tested within 90 days or sooner,” said Governor Dunleavy.

The backlog of untested sexual assault examination kits began compiling in the mid-1990s in state and local law enforcement districts.

Of the 2,493 previously unsubmitted, untested sexual assault examination kits received from local law enforcement agencies under the capital project, 2,442 (98 percent) have been tested.   There are 51 kits, (2%), submitted to a lab in the final stages of testing to finish the project by Dec. 31, 2021.

Today’s announcement highlights the Governor’s top priority of public safety.  Last August, Governor Dunleavy shared his plan to help law enforcement agencies investigate and bring to justice sexual predators and violent offenders.  The Governor’s plan includes the use of software and a tracking database to allow survivors and agencies involved in sexual assault response the ability to track the status and location of sexual assault examination kits.  Governor Dunleavy directed $850,000 toward the effort.

Governor Dunleavy intends to introduce legislation in the upcoming legislative session to further address sexual assaults and violent offenses in Alaska.