Padula & Associates, LLC Washington Criminal Defense Attorneys, Bellevue - SeattleDUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys

Call Now 425-883-3366

Washington AG's Office Wins $3M Federal Grant to Investigate Backlog of Sexual Assault DNA Kits

Posted Thursday, December 21, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office recently won a three year, $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to “inventory, test and help investigate the state’s backlog of sexual assault kits, which provide DNA evidence for sexual assault investigations.”

The grant is to fund a team within the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) dedicated to processing the backlogged sexual assault kits, to fund the processing of an estimated 6,000 untested sexual assault kits, and for victim-centered trauma training to law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and victim advocates. The grant is available as part of the Bureau of Justice Assistance Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

The AGO is to establish a Sexual Assault Kit Initiative team, which will use an estimated $1.5 million of the grant and include two new investigators to work solely on the project. In the first six months the team investigators are to travel the state and collect and create a detailed inventory of backlogged sexual assault kits.

After the inventory is complete, the investigators are to help local law enforcement prioritize and submit the kits to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab. An estimated 2,100 kits will be tested at Washington State Patrol Crime Labs in Seattle, Tacoma, Marysville, Spokane, and Vancouver. The remaining $1.5 million grant funds will cover the costs of testing, which is about $680 each. Once the backlogged kits are tested, the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative team and the Washington AGO will support local law enforcement as they use the new evidence to reopen old cases.

Charges for Sex Crimes

Sex crime cases range from misdemeanor charges with sexual motivation to class A felonies, such as Rape in the First Degree or Child Molestation in the First Degree.

As with all crimes, if contacted by law enforcement, exercise your right to remain silent and politely explain that you cannot speak to the law enforcement officer without your attorney being present. No matter what type of pressure, coercion or fear tactic they use, we urge you to resist the impulse to speak with the police. Talking to the police without your attorney present will not improve your situation, but most often will make it significantly worse.

Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 425-883-3366 or fill out this simple web form to schedule a free consultation. Padula & Associates, LLC has handled sex crime cases at both a Federal and a State level. We know how to assist you in your efforts to combat prosecution.