California launches site to track results of rape kits after police backlogs
California launched a site Saturday to track the results of rape kits after police said they were overwhelmed by more than 2,000 untested kits that had to be sent out of state to be tested.
Attorney General Kamala Harris launched the website to track the outcomes of more than a million rape kits that have been collected in California. Harris said she found out that the state already had more kits than were being tested and that they were overwhelmed.
“The state has failed to collect and account for some rape kits,” Harris said. “To give those victims a level of justice that is just not there, we are launching the National Crime Victim Data Bank.”
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation into effect Friday requiring police agencies to report to California’s Attorney General any untested rape kit that is too large to test. According to Harris, at least 1,200 untested rape kits dating back to the 1970s remain.
Harris said the first step the state is taking is putting a site online to track the outcome of the kits. The site is part of a statewide effort to track the results of all the untested rape kits the state already has.
“This initiative is just the first step. I have worked with the legislature and with my team to craft a comprehensive national plan, one that ensures each victim has the justice she deserves,” Harris said.
Attorney General Kamala Harris said she will use her authority to help victims of sexual assault by ensuring that every sexual assault kit is followed through the criminal justice process.
Harris on Saturday spoke to reporters at the Rose Bowl about California’s effort to track rape tests and the backlog of untested kits. Harris said the state already has about 1,200 untested kits.
“I am grateful for the support of the legislature and the commitment of the administration in this effort,” Harris told reporters.
Harris said the state is working to find the resources to deal with the backlog of untested kits.