Administration’s Announcement of Additional Resources to Fight Rape Kit Backlog

Published 4:47 pm Thursday, September 10, 2015

Special to The Leader

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after the Obama Administration announced they were setting aside federal grant funding to address the nationwide backlog of untested rape kits:

“Today’s announcement is another positive step forward to ending the rape kit backlog in cities across Texas and the country, but more needs to be done to give sexual assault survivors the justice they deserve. The Administration must take immediate steps to fully implement the bipartisan SAFER Act to ensure these kits don’t continue to languish on evidence room shelves.”

Earlier this year, Sen. Cornyn sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging the full implementation of the SAFER Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2014 and increases auditing, reporting, and processing of DNA evidence collected from sexual assault crimes. In Texas, the City of Austin Police Department, Jefferson County Regional Crime Laboratory, and the Travis County Sheriff’s Office will receive grant funding to address over 4,000 untested rape-kits.

Jefferson County has 1,300 untested rape kits and will receive $789,223 in grant funds.