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Untested Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2013
6 pages
This article overviews the issue of untested sexual assault kit (SAK) evidence and presents recommendations on how best to handle the current backlog and reduce delays in the future.
In this article from the Sexual Assault Report™, NIJ staff member Nancy Ritter explores: whether every sexual assault kit (SAK) should be tested every kit - even ones that are 25 years old; should priority be given to certain kits, and if so, how do we decide; and how to handle cases in which the alleged perpetrator is already known. The article also explains where the weak spots are in collecting, storing, and testing kits; why the police might not send sexual assault kits to be tested; and what early evidence is showing about complex issues such as victim notification.

Date Published: February 1, 2013