An initiative spearheaded by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to test backlogged rape kits across the US has already yielded 186 arrests and 64 convictions — including a serial rapist in Arizona who impersonated a “Family Ties” actor to lure his victims, officials announced Tuesday.
Using $38 million in forfeiture money to fund the effort, the Manhattan DA has cleared a backlog of roughly 55,000 untested rape kits since the program launched in 2015.
“Testing every rape kit is our best practice and moral imperative — both to ensure survivors receive the support and action they deserve, and to ensure that these backlogs never happen again,” DA Cy Vance Jr. said in a statement Tuesday.
Rape kits are collections of evidence gathered at hospitals or rape crisis centers after a claim of sexual assault.
DNA evidence included in rape kits is considered a critical tool for nabbing suspects and exonerating the wrongly accused.
Four women whose sex-assault cases were solved after the DA’s grant money paid for their kits to be tested, spoke of finally getting closure.
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