Backlog of untested rape kits a "crisis"

Progress being made on statewide backlog

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Progress is being made to test nearly 3,000 rape kits in Utah, even as a state legislator is pushing for a bill to make testing the kits mandatory.

On Tuesday night, local leaders met with the community in Salt Lake City to discuss the issue.

“This is a crisis right now,” said State Rep. Angela Romero.

Back in 2014, there were roughly 2,700 untested rape kits in Utah.

Since then, there has been progress on the backlog, with more than 1,300 kits tested.

But Romero is going to push for a bill in the next legislative session to mandate the testing of all rape kits.

“There are a lot of serial rapists out there. And so, many times, when someone rapes one person, they’re more inclined to rape another individual, and just because they might have had a relationship with the alleged victim, doesn’t necessarily mean that they haven’t hurt other people,” said Romero.

“We need to give those victims the justice they deserve, to know that they went through the process of getting a rape kit—which is like being re-victimized, and that we get the information to them to heal properly," she added.

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