RICHMOND, Va. -- Attorney General Mark Herring announced Wednesday the completion of the first phase of his efforts to eliminate Virginia’s rape kit backlog.
Herring says nearly 1,800 kits of evidence that had gone untested for decades have now been processed. All the kits were collected prior to 2014.
As a result, they say 568 new DNA profiles have been uploaded to the national database and 239 hits have been sent to law enforcement for further investigation.
“That information was then communicated back to the law enforcement agencies in the localities where the kits originated so that survivors could be notified of the results and the cases could get a fresh look and maybe re-investigated," said Herring Wednesday.
The testing is a part of Herring’s $3.4 million project to complete Virginia’s backlog of untested rape kits.
“This project has been a real catalyst for significant changes in the way sexual violence is investigated and prosecuted in Virginia, and the way that survivors are treated when they come forward,” he added.
Herring says at least 58 cases have been re-opened or are currently under review.
In 2016, Virginia law was changed to require nearly all PERKs be tested without delay, meaning that once the backlog of untested kits is eliminated it should never return.