Review finds 90% of Missouri rape kits never tested

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This Thursday, April 2, 2015 photo shows an evidence bag from a sexual assault case in the biology lab at the Houston Forensic Science Center in Houston. Legislators in more than 20 states are considering _ and in some cases, passing _ laws that include auditing all kits and deadlines for submitting and processing DNA evidence. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A sweeping review has found that close to 90% of Missouri rape kits have never been tested.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Wednesday that only 830 of about 7,000 total kits were previously tested.

Rape kits are DNA samplings and other evidence secured via medical procedures conducted immediately after an attack. They can be used by law enforcement and prosecutors to catch and convict rapists.

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office began to track the number of untested rape kits in 2017. The agency completed a detailed inventory of kits after receiving help from a federal grant.

The agency estimates it has enough grant money to test at least 1,250 kits. A former judge leading the effort says the office will ask for more money as needed to test every kit.

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