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Wis. sexual assault kit backlog gone

On Monday, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel announced that the state Department of Justice has completed the more than 4,100 backlog of sexual assault kits.

Here’s what they are saying:

Associated PressMore than 4,100 untested sexual assault evidence kits dating back to the 1980s in Wisconsin have finally been tested, state Attorney General Brad Schimel said Monday.

Wisconsin Public RadioThe state Department of Justice first discovered in 2014 the existence of nearly 7,000 untested sexual assault kits in law enforcement and hospital custody across the state. The state received federal grant funding to test the kits in private labs in 2015. Testing began the following year.

WSAWAs of August 31, testing was done on 4,154 kits. Now, the results are under technical review. According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, survivors are being notified and some cases are being opened or re-opened for investigation and prosecution.

Milwaukee Journal SentinelThe evidence has gone untested for years — in some cases decades — because local law enforcement or medical officials did not notify DOJ about the existence of some of the evidence … Schimel said Monday he was able to significantly increase the speed of testing since then by enlisting the help of three different labs, including one that was able to take on additional kits once it finished some from other states.

Spooner Advocate: WiSAKI is a statewide effort, initiated by Schimel, to address the decades-long accumulation of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs) that were in the possession of local law enforcement agencies and hospitals across Wisconsin … The WiSAKI team is also working to expand the statewide sexual assault response training program sponsored by DOJ to equip more law enforcement officers, prosecutors, sexual assault nurse examiners, and victim advocates with the specialized knowledge and resources needed to properly respond to sexual assault cases.

FOX 6Schimel said testing is just the beginning. The state is expanding response training programs and survivors now have the option to store their kit for 10 years — giving them time to decide if they want it tested.

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