The preliminary report indicates that there are at least 4,889 untested sexual assault kits currently in the possession of law enforcement agencies, crime labs, and healthcare providers in Missouri. In conducting its audit, the Attorney General’s Office received information from 266 law enforcement agencies, 66 healthcare providers, and five crime labs. The Office also met with stakeholders from across the State.
This data demonstrates a clear need for additional funding to address sexual assault kit resources in Missouri. In April, the state legislature gave the Attorney General’s Office authority to apply for a $3 million federal Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant. The Office has applied for the grant and continues to work with stakeholders to develop uniform state practices for the handling and processing of sexual assault evidence kits.
“From a law enforcement perspective, any rape kit that goes untested means a powerful tool for identifying and prosecuting sex criminals remains unutilized—and a rapist remains on the streets,” Hawley said. “From an individual perspective, any kit that goes untested means a survivor is denied the justice they so deserve. We must do all in our power to eliminate this problem in Missouri and work to better track evidence that will help identify perpetrators.”
A copy of the preliminary report can be read HERE.
SOURCE: news provided by AGO.MO.GOV