Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury) has successfully included an amendment in the FY22 budget regarding untested sexual assault evidence kits. The amendment requires that the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory use existing funds to fully test roughly 6,300 sexual assault kits that are associated with cases in which a police report was filed.
“Often times these kits are used by survivors as a way to further involve law enforcement in their case,” said Senator Moore. “Whenever an individual comes forward to report a case of sexual assault, we should be doing everything we can to resolve their case as swiftly as possible. It is imperative that those remaining evidence kits get tested so we can solve open cases and bring justice for survivors in the Commonwealth.”
For a wide variety of reasons, it is often not easy, or even common, for survivors to report their assault to police. These kits are used by survivors in an effort to help law enforcement in the event that they do choose to file a police report. It is understandable if a victim chooses to not have their kits tested, however, for those with active police reports testing these kits could help link cases and resolve some.
Currently over 6,000 of these kits remain untested, despite $8 million being allocated several years ago to address the backlog in testing. While some kits may go untested for valid reasons, such as a closed case, there is no reason for a delay in testing for other kits.
This amendment provides a path for these kits to be tested by accredited private labs and will ensure they are tested within a year of the enactment of this legislation.