Rape kit tracking system advances at NC legislature

Crime Lab Rape Kits (Photo: Hannah Patrick/WWAY)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly have advanced legislation creating a statewide tracking system for sexual assault evidence kits.

Identical bills receiving Senate approval and tentative House approval Thursday stem from a February audit that counted about 15,000 untested rape kits were held by law enforcement agencies across the state.

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Attorney General Josh Stein has said it would cost about $10 million to test the entire backlog. The bills don’t contain money, but instead first create a working group to decide testing priority for the backlog. Republican lawmakers said they wanted to get the testing process in place before deciding how much money to test those kits deemed necessary to review.

This backlog is different from any kits currently awaiting testing at the State Crime Lab.