State Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) today praised Ohio’s progress on testing backlogged DNA kits as part of the state’s Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who began working in 2011 with local law enforcement agencies to get rid of this backlog, released a status update today showing that the state has obtained positive matches for more than 3,300 of the DNA kits tested so far.  

"For far too long victims were denied justice because of bureaucracy and a lack of cooperation between state and local authorities," Obhof said. “The DNA testing initiative is helping solve cold cases across Ohio, bringing justice for the victims and getting violent predators off our streets.”  

Obhof co-sponsored Senate Bill 316, which went into effect earlier this year and requires Ohio law enforcement agencies to eliminate the existing backlog of rape kits. The law also requires that all newly-collected rape kits be submitted to a crime lab within 30 days after law enforcement determines a crime has been committed.
“Modern technology has given us greater ability to solve these crimes,” Obhof said. “It is crucial that we process these kits as soon as possible.”

According to the statement released by DeWine's office, forensic scientists with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) have completed testing on a total of 9,230 of the kits, resulting in 3,377 hits in the state’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). To ensure the timely analysis of the thousands of kits submitted as part of the SAK Testing Initiative, Attorney General DeWine has hired 10 additional forensic scientists.

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