Rape kit backlog drops, but watchdog cites lack of funding

Written by The Associated Press | May 2, 2017 5:21 PM

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's Department of Health says a backlog of untested rape kits has dropped, but Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says he doubts the remaining kits can be tested in a timely manner without state funding.

The Department of Health reported Tuesday that the backlog was 1,214 as of March 7. That's the number of kits that had gone more than a year without being tested.

That's down nearly 700 from the 1,908 that were reported at the end of 2015 as part of the first statewide study under a law that revamped procedures for handling sexual assault evidence.

Meanwhile, the number of police departments reporting on backlogged kits doubled, to nearly 900.

But DePasquale says the Legislature hasn't approved money to ensure public crime labs can test all future kits within six months of submission.

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