Attorney General: Untested sexual assault kits collected, shipped to private labs

3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago Wednesday, July 22 2020 Jul 22, 2020 Wednesday, July 22, 2020 11:27:53 AM CDT July 22, 2020 in News
By: Greta Serrin, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

ST. LOUIS - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that 85 untested sexual assault kits were gathered from 22 agencies and shipped from the Clayton Police Department in St. Louis County to a private lab.

“The Missouri Attorney General’s Office is working expeditiously to gather untested sexual assault kits from departments and agencies across the state to be sent to the lab,” said Attorney General Schmitt.

85 kits were gathered from neighboring departments, such as Des Peres, Ladue, Webster Groves, Town & Country, Hazelwood, St. Ann and Florissant.

The kits were sent off to a private lab to be tested, according to a news release.

"The Attorney General’s Office has worked with law enforcement agencies across the state to gather untested sexual assault kits from neighboring departments to be shipped off to the lab," the release said. 

Since the first shipping event, held at the Springfield Police Department in December of 2019, over 1,200 untested sexual assault kits that were identified in the SAFE Kit Initiative inventory have been shipped to the private lab in Virginia to be tested, according to the release.

Shipping events to gather untested kits have been held across Missouri. There were also events in Columbia, Springfield and Camden County Sheriff's Office.

The SAFE Kits Initiative is funded by a grant administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, according to the release.

The initiative was launched by Schmitt in January of 2019 to inventory all untested sexual assault kits in the backlog, create an electronic tracking system, and send those identified kits to a lab for forensic testing and potentially eventual prosecution, the release said.

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