COLUMBUS—Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) today applauded the completion of the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative, an effort that has helped deliver justice for victims of rape and sexual assault across Ohio.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine launched the Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative in 2011 because law enforcement agencies across the state faced a backlog, decades old in some cases, of untested rape kits.
Under Attorney General DeWine's initiative, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has tested all 13,931 rape kits submitted by local law enforcement for DNA testing. According to statistics recently released by DeWine's office, a total of 5,024 matches to offenders’ DNA have been obtained based on DNA profiles already in the state's crime database. Charges have been filed against hundreds of attackers.
“This kit testing initiative has allowed prosecutors to finally go after these offenders,” said Obhof. “There have been hundreds of indictments as a result of these efforts, including getting serial rapists off the streets.”
The rape kits tested as part of the Attorney General’s initiative included kits from 294 law enforcement agencies from 75 counties. A full list of submitting agencies and DNA matches per agency can be found here.
In 2014, Obhof co-sponsored Senate Bill 316, which required Ohio law enforcement agencies to eliminate the existing backlog of rape kits by submitting any previously untested kits to BCI for testing. Senate Bill 316 also set a strict 30-day timeline for future submissions, preventing such backlogs from occurring again in the future.