Virginia Attorney General announces elimination of rape kit backlog

RICHMOND, Va. – Attorney General Mark Herring has announced that his years-long project to eliminate the state’s rape kit backlog has been completed.

According to a release from Herring’s office, 2,665 previously untested rape kits have now been tested, including kits that were left untested for decades.

This testing was part of a $3.4 million project from Herring in conjunction with the Dept. of Forensic Science and law enforcement to get rid of the backlog of untested rape kits in hopes to change the way the state responds to sexual violence.

Scientists reportedly worked on this project for five years.

Data provided by Herring’s office indicates the following:

  • 2,665 kits were tested
  • 851 DNA profiles were uploaded into CODIS, the national Combined DNA Index System
  • 354 “hits” were sent to law enforcement for further investigation
  • At least 1 charge, with more expected as localities continue to reopen and investigate

“Virginia’s backlog of untested rape kits has been completely eliminated, and it is never coming back,” said Herring. “Eliminating this backlog has been a long time coming, and it has taken a lot of work, but it means a wrong has been righted, that justice is closer for more survivors, and that Virginia is a safer place.”

According to Herring’s office, the attorney general has also worked to invest in training and infrastructure to ensure a more “survivor-centered, trauma-informed response to sexual violence.”

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