New York Post: Manhattan DA spearheads tests of backlogged rape kits across US

New York

New York Post: Manhattan DA spearheads tests of backlogged rape kits across US

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.

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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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