|September 9, 2015
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi, joined by state lawmakers, law enforcement and a victim advocate, today committed broad support for testing Florida’s unprocessed sexual assault kits. There is estimated to be thousands of untested sexual assault kits in Florida, holding key DNA evidence that could help law enforcement solve and prevent violent crimes in Florida and across the country.
“As a career prosecutor I have seen first-hand the heartache and devastation caused by sexual predators. I have also seen the power of DNA evidence in bringing these predators to justice and helping the victims of these heinous crimes heal. Hidden in the estimated thousands of untested kits is the potential to solve cold cases, lock up sexual predators and make Florida a safer place to live and raise a family,” said Attorney General Bondi.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies, is currently conducting a statewide assessment of unprocessed sexual assault kits to identify how many kits across the state have not been processed.
As part of her commitment to test these kits, Attorney General Bondi will work with law enforcement, state lawmakers and victims’ advocates to review the statewide assessment once completed and explore legislative solutions.
Possible solutions include:
- · Prioritizing legislative funding to add state crime lab capacity;
· Eliminating the pay disparity between state and county lab technicians and adding more FDLE lab technician positions;
· Utilizing private labs to test kits; and
· Requesting that local law enforcement agencies and state crime labs develop a model policy for submitting any unprocessed sexual assault kits for testing.