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Attorney General Jason R. Ravnsborg

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State Forensic Lab Completes Project for Testing all Rape Kits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   Monday, January 09, 2017    
CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215   

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms that South Dakota Forensic Lab (SDFL) has completed the testing of all rape kits from law enforcement agencies in South Dakota. Untested rape kits have become and continue to be a national concern.

“A rape victim who has the courage to report a sexual crime deserves to have all the potential evidence tested,” said Jackley. “The State Forensic Lab and our local enforcement partners should be commended for completing this additional workload efficiently and accurately.”

As part of the untested kit project in South Dakota, the SDFL collected over 500 untested sexual assault kits from South Dakota Law Enforcement agencies, beginning in summer of 2013.  Since that time, the SDFL has completed analysis on 504 cases as part of this project. Those exams resulted in 254 additional DNA exams, which were completed in December, 2016. 

In 2016 alone, the SDFL completed 644 biology assignments on 396 cases associated with this project. This is in addition to increased workload requirements established by 2016 legislation requiring testing of all sexual assault kits supported by the Attorney General.  There are currently 7 examiners assigned to the Biology section of the SDFL, including the examiner added by Attorney General Jackley within existing budget resources in May, 2016.