Department of Health

Pennsylvania Rape Kit Backlog Drops, But Watchdog Cites Lack of Funding

Pennsylvania's Department of Health says a backlog of untested rape kits has dropped, but Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says he doubts the remaining kits can be tested in a timely manner without state funding.

The Department of Health reported Tuesday that the backlog was 1,214 as of March 7. That's the number of kits that had gone more than a year without being tested.

That's down nearly 700 from the 1,908 that were reported at the end of 2015 as part of the first statewide study under a law that revamped procedures for handling sexual assault evidence.

Meanwhile, the number of police departments reporting on backlogged kits doubled, to nearly 900.

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But DePasquale says the Legislature hasn't approved money to ensure public crime labs can test all future kits within six months of submission.

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