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OSBI leaders address the slow crackdown on rape kit testing – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma 2021-07-16 20:25:25 –

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — The top leader of the Oklahoma Department of Research gave details on the status of rape kit testing and explained what resources they have or don’t have to deal with the backlog.

OSBI, Tulsa Police Station, and Oklahoma City Police Station are working on thousands of untested kits.

State agencies have jurisdiction over over 2,200 untested rape kits. They make up a backlog that has grown over 30 years.

“We know that these cases will identify serial rapists, murderers, and those who were assaulted years ago.” OSBI Director Ricky Adams Adams said.

At a press conference Friday afternoon, Adams and Andrea Fielding, OSBI Director of Forensic Services, are considering outsourcing to the Virginia Institute and hiring another institute with a recently awarded $ 1.6 million grant. Announced that there is.

“These grants aren’t always there. These grants are lobbying at the federal level almost every year,” said Daniel Tudor.

Tudor is a survivor of sexual assault and a member of the Oklahoma Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Task Force. She is currently working on over 1,000 rape kits and hopes the state will eventually find permanent funding.

“We have a huge backlog, but we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can. We have a good plan to deal with this as soon as possible,” Fielding said.

It takes six months to a year to test a single rape kit, depending on when the assault occurred.

“If I was thinking of completing a rape kit and reporting it to law enforcement after being beaten, I would certainly pause, knowing that it would take a year for the kit to be tested,” Tudor said. Mr. said.

OSBI is also overcoming staff shortages. The state legislature has given $ 1 million to hire five new DNA analysts, but it will take two years to train them. As a result, OSBI predicts that it will take four to five years to clear the rape kit backlog.

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