|October 26, 2016
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced progress in the state’s efforts to eliminate the backlog of unprocessed sexual assault kits. According to the Sexual Assault Kit Progress Report released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, more than 1,800 previously unprocessed kits have been tested since Attorney General Bondi launched joint efforts to eliminate Florida’s backlog.
“As a career prosecutor and Florida’s Attorney General, I understand how vital DNA evidence is to solving violent crimes and so far, efforts to eliminate the backlog of unprocessed sexual assault kits have produced more than 400 CODIS matches,” said Attorney General Bondi. “I applaud the Florida Legislature for providing the necessary resources to help test these kits and FDLE for its efforts to eliminate the backlog, as these kits continue to be submitted by local law enforcement agencies.”
Working with law enforcement, prosecutors, victims and state lawmakers during the 2016 Legislative Session, Attorney General Bondi advocated for state funding to process Florida’s thousands of untested kits. Governor Rick Scott and state lawmakers approved an initial $2.3 million for testing and additional funding to raise the wages of lab analysts to reduce turnover, purchase new forensic testing equipment and upgrade existing lab equipment.
Attorney General Bondi also supported legislation sponsored by Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto and Rep. Janet Adkins to help expedite the lab testing of all DNA evidence, including sexual assault kits. According to the FDLE report, since the law went into effect in July, the average turnaround time for processing a sexual assault kit in Florida is 53 days.
Attorney General Bondi continues to support efforts to process Florida’s untested kits by June 2019, in an effort to help solve cold cases and protect victims.