Over 1200 Rape Kits Remain Backlogged in PA; DePasquale Asks Wolf for Funding

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale continues his push to eliminate Pennsylvania’s backlog of 1,200 untested rape kits by asking Gov. Tom Wolf to include funding in the 2018-19 budget debate that begins this week.

“At last count 1,214 rape kits remained backlogged in Pennsylvania,” DePasquale said. “That’s potentially 1,200 people seeking results from the hours-long, invasive exam they endured.

“We know some of these kits date as far back as the 1990s. It is beyond unconscionable that these kits continue to sit on a shelf, denying victims a chance for healing and closure,” DePasquale said, noting that 13 other states have already provided funding to eliminate their backlogged rape kits.

Eugene_DePasquale_2013“We are making progress,” DePasquale said. “Since 2016, 700 backlogged kits were tested meaning that 700 Pennsylvanians received answers about their rape kits. Sexual assault victims deserve justice and testing the kits provides them a chance for justice.”

In September 2016, DePasquale released a special report on the state’s untested rape kits that found inadequate communication to local law enforcement agencies, errors in DOH’s official 2015 report and resource shortages that could be leading to delayed justice for victims. The 67-page special report featured three observations and 10 recommendations.

“When the General Assembly passed the legislation that mandated the reporting and testing of the state’s backlogged rape kits, it failed to provide any resources to any agency, including the state’s three major public crime labs, to test the kits,” DePasquale said. “My review found that these crime labs simply do not have enough people, equipment or funding — and that’s a problem that continues to exist.”

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