East Bay lawmaker introduces bill to mandate rape kit testing

January 21, 2014 6:11:02 PM PST
It's been eight months since the ABC7 News I-Team discovered thousands of rape kits with untested DNA evidence at police agencies throughout the Bay Area. Now, an East Bay lawmaker is sponsoring a bill to mandate that all rape kits be tested.

Rape victims say it's an insult when they go through a long sexual assault exam and then no one bothers to test for DNA that might identify the attacker and possibly link him to other crimes.

Assm. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, held a news conference Tuesday with Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley to announce AB 1517. It would give law enforcement five days to get rape kits to a crime lab. The lab would then have 30 days to upload the DNA profile into the state database.

"We have sex offenders who are continuing to commit sexual assault crimes against, primarily woman, that are going un-prosecuted because the evidence is sitting in the police evidence room," O'Malley said.

"And we are not going to tolerate having a backlog of which we don't even know the number yet, statewide,' Skinner said.

An I-Team investigation from last May found that Alameda County had almost 2,000 untested kits, San Jose had more than 1,800 and San Francisco had almost 200 in just two years.