TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Nearly 5,600 previously unprocessed sexual assault kits have now been tested, according to new statistics released by the attorney general’s office.
These recently processed kits have resulted in nearly 1,400 hits in a federal DNA database. Prior to a 2016 law, Florida had not required rape kits to be tested.
Law enforcement agencies are now required to submit evidence within 30 days of the beginning of their investigations, and the sexual assault kits must be processed by the lab within 120 days of receipt.
Attorney General Pam Bondi says the state is ahead of pace in reaching its goal of processing all 8,600 backlogged kits by June 2019.
“That have tested I believe over 5,500. They have had over 1,300 matches," said Pam Bondi, R- Attorney General. "Just think of the cases that can potentially be solved, and not only help victims here in Florida but victims throughout the country.”
Information from the newly-processed rape kits goes into the Federal Combined DNA Index System, known as CODIS (Code – iss). This database allows federal, state and local forensic labs to exchange and compare DNA profiles across state lines.
“Our goal is to help victims, solve cases and get closure, as well as lock up many of these monsters who are out there," said Bondi. "They’re serial rapists, serial criminals and they travel. They go throughout the country.”