Legislation would set 30-day deadline on rape kit testing

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A state legislative committee approved a bill Tuesday that would require all rape kits be submitted for testing within thirty days of the evidence being collected or of the victim or victim advocate asking the kit be tested.

Just weeks ago, The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released data showing there are 11,000 untested sexual assault kits in the state. At least 700 of those are in Southwest Florida.

State Rep. Janet Adkins, who sponsored the bill, cited a Detroit study that tested about a fourth of the city’s untested rape kits and got astounding results.

“When you look at the numbers from Detroit there were 8,700 kits that have not been tested,” she said. “They took about 2,000 of those kits, tested them, they identified 188 serial predators. When you stop and think about that, 188 serial predators who now have been identified in Detroit, that’s appalling. We can not only ensure justice for these victims, but believe we can prevent future crimes.”

The legislation would also require all of Florida’s nearly 11,000 rape kits to be tested by mid 2017.

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