NEW CASTLE, Pa. (WKBN) – 1,200 backlogged rape kits have been awaiting lab testing in Pennsylvania for 12 months or more.
State officials are stepping in, trying to ease the piles of kits currently sitting on shelves, waiting to be processed.
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is asking Governor Tom Wolf to dedicate money in the new budget to fund the testing of those kits.
It will cost an average of $1,000 for each rape kit, though. State officials say it could take years to resolve the backlog relying just on federal grants alone.
It also has a great impact on those waiting for the test results.
Deborah Hennon, executive director of the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County, said, “Our victims deserve the best of resources. If we had this resource at hand, the knowledge and the ability to do that, Pennsylvania needs to put the money to that to make it happen for our victims.”
The good news is that the 1,200 estimation does reflect a decrease in backlogged kits from roughly 1,900 in 2016. That means almost 700 people received answers in the last year about whether evidence contained in their kits could help them get justice.