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State House Approves Bill To Speed Rape Kit Testing

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(credit: Wayne County Prosecutor's Office)

(credit: Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office)

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan House has unanimously passed legislation aimed at speeding up the testing of rape kits.

The bill approved Thursday comes in response to a backlog of roughly 11,000 rape kits discovered in Detroit in 2009. The bill doesn’t affect those kits but is intended to prevent future buildups.

It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The legislation would require police to retrieve a kit from a health care facility within 14 days of being notified and would have 14 more days to submit the kit to a lab for testing. The lab would have 90 days to analyze the evidence.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has led efforts to resolve the backlog and says the legislation is “taking a strong stand” for public safety.

To date, at least 1,600 of the 11,000 rape kits —found in a Detroit police warehouse  — have been tested; and, according to prosecutors, 100 serial rapists have been identified.

Thursday’s House vote comes after state lawmakers, last year, appropriated $4 million to send the remaining kits to private labs for testing.

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