NYC prosecutor to clear backlog of untested rape kits and gain key evidence

NEW YORK (WABC) -- They could be the key evidence in getting a rape conviction, but thousands and thousands of rape kits have been sitting on shelves untested until now.

Millions of dollars will be used to clear the backlog.

The announcement is welcome news that investigators, prosecutors, and especially victims have been waiting to hear.

Much needed money is now set aside to pay for the processing cost of thousands upon thousands of untested rape kits.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance aaid $35 million will help eliminate a backlog of hundreds of thousands of rape kits across the country, evidence that could help authorities identify, arrest and convict rape suspects.

It costs between $500 and $1,000 to test each kit.

"The examination of those kits will provide DNA samples that I believe will solve previously unsolved sexual assaults throughout the country and will bring some measure of closure to victims and survivors who have waited years for their cases to be solved," said Vance.

The $35 million comes from the D.A.'s share of an $8 billion settlement with a French bank accused of violating U.S. economic sanctions.

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