FBI, This Week: Partnership Helps Reduce Backlogged Sexual Assault Kits


February 8, 2018

A joint research project between the FBI and the National Institute of Justice aims to streamline the testing of sexual assault kits.


Audio Transcript

Mollie Halpern: A joint research project between the FBI and the National Institute of Justice aims to streamline the testing of sexual assault kits.

The FBI Laboratory has extracted unknown DNA profiles from more than 2,600 backlogged kits from across the country since 2014.

Forensic examiner Heather LaSalle says local and state crime labs can learn from the FBI’s experience.

Heather LaSalle: To let everyone know how we tested the kits, the different methods we used, the different obstacles that we came across, and how we were able to alleviate those obstacles and get these kits tested in a timely manner and with very good success.

Halpern: More than half of the sexual assault kits tested have resulted in DNA profiles belonging to someone other than the victim.

The FBI has entered those profiles into its national DNA database, called CODIS, to see if it matches an already arrested or convicted offender.

LaSalle: CODIS can give investigative leads and can also link convicted offenders to these cases. It can also link cases together. Then we would let the investigators, the detectives, know of these associations, and they can go and investigate it further.

Halpern: With FBI, This Week, I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau.

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