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Pa. Senate panel approves review into rape kit testing standards

Written by Rachel McDevitt | May 10, 2017 3:26 PM
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(Harrisburg) -- A state Senate committee has acted to address the backlog of untested rape kits in the commonwealth. 

The General Assembly set standards for testing rape kits in a timely manner in Act 27 of 2015, but today more than 1,200 kits have been sitting untested for over a year.

In response, the Senate Law and Justice Committee approved a resolution from Republican Senator Bob Mensch of Montgomery County, which would authorize the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to review the 2015 standards.

Mensch says the review will answer the question of, "how do we better comply going forward? How do we reduce the inventory of untested kits? And how do we bring justice sooner to those who were raped?"

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale drew attention to the backlog with a report released last September. It found that, while Act 27 "provided much-needed methodology for counting rape kits, guidelines for submission of the kits to be tested, and a three-year timeframe to eliminate the backlog, it failed to provide any additional resources for involved parties or an incentive for local law enforcement agencies to comply with the mandates."

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