Grassley Works to Clear Rape Kit Backlog Print
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Sen Chuck Grassley   
Monday, 07 February 2011 14:21

Friday, February 4, 2011

WASHINGTON — Senator Chuck Grassley this week introduced the Justice for Survivors of Sexual Assault Act of 2011, along with Senator Al Franken of Minn., to help clear the backlog of untested rape kits around the country.  Senators Dianne Feinstein of Calif., Michael Bennet of Colo., Richard Burr of N.C., Bernie Sanders of Vt., and Bob Casey of Pa, also cosponsored the bill.

“There’s a problem when rape kits sit on shelves for years at a time, while perpetrators roam the streets potentially harming others,” Grassley said.  “The delays we’re seeing are unacceptable, so we’re working to end the backlog and help victims of sexual assault find justice in a timely manner.”

Grassley said that it takes approximately one week to process a DNA evidence sample, so there is no reason every rape kit shouldn’t be tested in a timely manner.

The Justice for Survivors of Sexual Assault Act of 2011 would also prohibit the current practice—permitted by federal law—that allows jurisdictions to bill rape victims and then force victims to seek reimbursement from state crime victims’ funds.  It would also require jurisdictions receiving Debbie Smith funds to report backlog levels to the Department of Justice and specify how much of their Debbie Smith grant funds have been used to analyze DNA from sexual assault cases.

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