Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Uniting to Solve Sexual Assault Crimes

With support from the National Institute of Justice, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the state of Nevada teamed up to reduce the backlog of untested sexual assault kits.

In the early 1990s, a University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) law student was asleep in her apartment when she was attacked by an unknown man. She was held at knifepoint and sexually assaulted before her attacker fled.

Police investigated the crime, but were unable to identify a suspect. During the investigation, detectives compiled a sexual assault kit, but that kit was never tested for DNA evidence. It sat in police custody, untested for nearly 25 years, leaving police without a suspect and a victim without any closure.
What Is a Sexual Assault Kit?

A sexual assault kit is the cornerstone of any sexual assault investigation, potentially holding critical DNA evidence for law enforcement. Unfortunately, jurisdictions around the country are grappling with how to address mounting backlogs of untested kits, some dating back to the mid-1980s.

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