- Associated Press - Saturday, March 12, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Louisville police have reversed course and decided to send an extra 463 rape kits to be tested by Kentucky State Police.

In total, the department is sending 1,386 untested kits after being prompted by state legislators who are mandating a statewide count of untested rape kits.

The 463 additional kits in Louisville were old kits involving dead suspects, deceased or uncooperative victims, or victims who did not want to pursue criminal charges, The Courier-Journal reported (https://cjky.it/24WZHrl).

But Lt. Carolyn Nunn, commander of the Special Victims Unit, recently attended a conference in Memphis where she learned that lab officials in other cities who had old rape kits tested sometimes led to DNA matches in other states.

“Going to Memphis was probably the best thing I could have done because it opened my eyes,” Nunn said. “It doesn’t just stop with our case files.”

The kits contain biological evidence collected from a victim following the report of a sexual assault. Some of the old Louisville kits date back to the 1970s.

“Before I was only sending things that the victims and the prosecutors were on board,” she said. “And now I’m sending everything because it just makes sense to do.”

Legislation passed unanimously early in the year mandating a count of untested kits across the state. Former State Auditor Adam Edelen found 3,090 untested rape kits in Kentucky and cited a lack of written policies and procedures for submitting kits and an underfunded state lab as just a few reasons for the backlog.

The KSP forensic lab plans to send out its first group of 300 to 350 rape kits in early April, starting a process expected to last about a year, said the lab’s director Laura Sudkamp.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com

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