State obtains $2.5 million in federal grants to process rape kits and test sex offenders

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Attorney General Bob Ferguson recently announced that his office won an additional $2.5 million in federal grants to fund Washington’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) program, part of a statewide initiative to end Washington’s rape kit backlog.

Of the new funds, $1 million will fund a new effort to add DNA profiles of thousands of convicted offenders across Washington — court-ordered DNA tests that still haven’t been collected — to the national DNA evidence database. 

This new DNA information will make it more likely for a newly tested sexual assault kit to result in a “hit,” connecting the DNA evidence from the kit to a known offender. These hits are crucial to solving cold cases and identifying serial rapists.

The office will use the remaining $1.5 million to test backlogged kits, train law enforcement and hire additional personnel to support the SAKI team.

“This is an important step toward justice for sexual assault survivors,” Ferguson said. “The funding we’ve won today will help us to both continue to test backlogged evidence and start gathering DNA information on convicted criminals. The more information we can get on repeat offenders, the more cases we can solve.”

More information on the ongoing project is available on the Attorney General's Sexual Assault Kit Initiative webpage.


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