(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced that the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) has exceeded its goal of testing 1,500 rape kits during the first year of the Attorney General's Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative.
Forensic scientists at BCI started testing the kits full time in October 2012, and as of today, scientists have completed testing on 1,585 kits.
"The results of this testing initiative go far beyond what we expected one year ago, and we are pleased to have helped local law enforcement identify hundreds of potential rape suspects in these past 12 months," said Attorney General DeWine.
So far, the testing has led to 505 DNA matches in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Once a CODIS hit is received, the investigative information is returned to the jurisdiction where the crime occurred for further investigation.
The goal for the second year of the SAK Initiative is for scientists to test at least an additional 3,000 kits. Initially, four BCI forensic scientists were hired to focus primarily on the testing of the old kits, and six additional scientists will be hired to focus on the initiative before the end of the year.
Attorney General DeWine announced the SAK Initiative in December 2011 by offering free DNA testing to any law enforcement agency with untested rape kits in which they believe a crime was committed. As of today, a total of 4,053 rape kits have been submitted by 109 law enforcement agencies, and additional kits are submitted to BCI on a regular basis.
So far, more than 50 people have been indicted as a result of the SAK Initiative in Cuyahoga County alone.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Jill Del Greco: 614-466-3840