Massachusetts Lawmakers OK Bill Calling for Rape Kit Testing

BOSTON (AP) — Legislation aimed at prioritizing the testing of rape kits for possible DNA evidence is awaiting Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s signature.

The bill includes a requirement that all existing untested kits associated with a reported crime be submitted for testing within 180 days. The bill also calls for the development of a tracking system that will provide sexual assault victims with continuous access to information on their kits.

Exactly how many untested rape kits exist in Massachusetts isn’t clear. In 2015 state public safety officials requested reports from local police departments on the number of untested rape kits in their possession, but only 75 of 351 responded.

Passage of the legislation was welcomed by advocates for sexual assault victims. They say it tells victims their cases do matter.

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