Nevada completes backlog of sexual assault test kits

Democratic Nevada Senate Majority Leader and candidate for Nevada attorney general Aaron D. Ford (D-Las Vegas) speaks during a get-out-the-vote rally featuring former U.S. President Barack Obama
Photo credit Ethan Miller/Getty Images
By News and Talk Radio 840 AM

Las Vegas, NV (KXNT)  – Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford says that Nevada’s sexual assault kit testing initiative has concluded, with all previously backlogged sexual assault kits from prior to 2016 having completed forensic testing. 

In 2015, Nevada’s Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Working Group was established to eliminate the decades-in-the-making backlog, develop policies and protocols relating to the response to sexual assault, introduce legislation and enhance Nevada’s resources for investigation, prosecution and victim services. Over the years, the Working Group has expanded to include representatives from law enforcement, prosecution, forensic laboratories, victim services, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, the domestic violence and sexual assault dual coalition, researchers, bipartisan members of the Legislature and other stakeholders.  

Victim outreach and services, investigations, arrests and prosecutions remain ongoing, results of this initiative thus far are as follows:

 - Kits Inventoried: 7855                  

 - DNA Matches: 1083            

 - Arrests Made: 64        

 - Issued Warrants: 121

Since 2015, the State of Nevada has allocated nearly $15 million towards this initiative, including $3.68 pledged by the Attorney General’s Office, $3 million pledged by the Nevada Legislature and approximately $8 million secured through grant funding by the Department of Justice. In 2017, the Nevada Legislature passed Assembly Bill 97, which mandated that the attorney general help establish a statewide program to track sexual assault kits and report its progress.

In June 2019, the tracking system went live through Nevada’s Department of Public Safety. Now, survivors of sexual assault can track dates and milestones from the time that they report a sexual assault, to the retrieval of the kit by law enforcement, the testing of the kit, availability of test results, Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) entry/hits, law enforcement investigation review and results, and prosecution review and results.

To learn more about Nevada’s sexual assault kit backlog and resources available to survivors, visit Nevada's statewide sexual assault website which is updated at the beginning of every month.