Utah eliminates backlog of thousands of untested rape kits

in People

SALT LAKE CITY — When patients in years past asked Julie Valentine what would become of evidence she collected in their sexual assault exams, the longtime forensic nurse didn’t have an answer.

Rape kits from across the state were collecting dust without ever making their way to a lab for analysis. It meant law enforcers weren’t connecting the dots in the cases that could help bring offenders to justice.

That has changed as Utah has worked its way through a backlog of more than 3,000 sexual assault kits, becoming the seventh state in the nation to do so, in addition to Washington, D.C., state leaders and public safety officials announced Thursday.

“I wish all of you could see the difference in my patients’ faces, from before when I had to say, ‘I don’t know,’ to now I can say, ‘I know, and you can know,’” Valentine said at a news conference.

Continue Reading on KSL