Bevin Signs Bill to Clear Rape Kit Backlog

Aug 25, 2016

Credit J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has ceremonially signed legislation that requires all untested sexual assault examination kits to be sent to the Kentucky State Police crime lab by the beginning of next year.

Some sexual assault kits have been sitting on shelves since the 60’s

By July 1st of 2018, the bill will require the state to test sexual assault kits within an average of no greater than 90 days.  Bevin said the state can do even better than that, “These are things that should be the bare minimum I think we can do a whole lot better than this once we’ve got this entire backlog taken care of and we’re well on path to getting that done.”

The bill was proposed by Louisville Democratic Sen. Denise Harper Angel who described the bill's intent, “It says you will wait no longer for justice and that we, the government will do what we can and what must do to defend and protect and ensure swift and proper justice for all those victims.”

The testing turnaround time is required to be no greater than 60 days by July 1st of 2020.

An investigation by former Auditor Adam Edelen revealed that there are over 3,000 untested rape kits held by local law enforcement in the state.

The state legislature set aside $4.5 million to fast track testing of the kits. Kentucky State Police is hiring 10 new biologists to help speed up the process.