Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis and the Department of Public Safety reminded law enforcement agencies to follow a new state law requiring them to report their backlog of untested rape kits, reports the Texas Tribune. So far, more than 12,000 untested rape kits have been reported to DPS, with more than 100 law enforcement agencies responding.
The new law, which Davis introduced in response to news that tens of thousands of rape kits were sitting untested in evidence storage rooms, requires police departments to submit a rape kit to a crime lab within 30 days of determining a sexual assault has occurred, and run DNA analysis within 90 days of a sexual assault being reported. To the extent that funding is available, the bill also requires testing of untested rape kits in active cases since 1996. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has introduced the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry Act, which would commit more federal money to states to reduce rape kit backlogs.