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Final backlogged sexual assault kit in Idaho tested, a 'major step in building trust' among survivors

These kits helps identify suspects or exonerate people who are wrongfully accused of sexual assault.
Credit: KREM 2

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Idaho State Police Forensic Services (ISPFS) announced that the final backlogged sexual assault kit has been tested.

The final test means all kits identified in the 2016 audit that were submitted to the lab for testing have now been completed. Reports haven been provided to investigators and prosecutors, as well as local law enforcement for further follow-up on ongoing sexual assault cases.

According to Matthew Gamette, Laboratory Director for ISPFS, this completion of tests is “a major step in building trust among sexual assault survivors.”

"Overall, the completion of these previously unsubmitted kits in Idaho is part of a bigger initiative to keep Idaho communities safe and combat the crime of sexual assault,” Gamette said.

According to a press release, Idaho leads the nation in addressing sexual assault cases, as it has passed aggressive laws to test and retain evidence kits, implemented the first fully functional statewide sexual assault kit tracking system and worked to ensure survivors of this crime are cared for.

Thanks to grant funding, ISPFS works to ensure local communities have a “coordinated effort,” including specially trained nurses to combat sexual assault and assist survivors. The organization is also training medical providers in every Idaho community to better engage with and assist sexual assault survivors and helping coordinate local multidisciplinary teams intended to provide a comprehensive sexual assault response for the needs of both survivors and Idaho’s criminal justice system.

Regarding the kits themselves, they are a collection of physical evidence, including DNA samples, taken from sexual assault victims. According to the press release,  this evidence can identify suspects or exonerate people who are wrongfully accused.

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