March 20, 2014
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today that forensic scientists with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) have now tested more than 3,000 previously untested rape kits as part of the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative.
“As of today our scientists have tested 3,010 kits that may have never been tested if not for this initiative, and I am happy that we’ve been successful in helping law enforcement and victims through this effort,” said Attorney General DeWine. “This testing has helped convict people in connection with crimes they likely thought they got away with decades ago.”
The DNA testing has led to 992 hits in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database.
So far, 5,850 kits have been submitted by 121 law enforcement agencies, with more than half of those kits submitted in the past year. Additional kits continue to be submitted regularly.
Attorney General DeWine announced the SAK Testing Initiative in December 2011 by offering free DNA testing to any law enforcement agency with untested rape kits in which a crime was believed to have been committed. After a period of training, scientists officially began testing the kits in October 2012.
In Cuyahoga County, prosecutors have indicted 85 suspects as a direct result of the SAK Testing Initiative. Most recently, a man was convicted for a 1994 incident in which prosecutors said he forced a woman into an abandoned car at knife-point and raped her. He was sentenced to a maximum of 50 years in prison.