100,000 sexual assault cases around the country has been sent for DNA testing with money from a New York prosecutor and federal authorities, spurring over 1,000 arrests and hundreds of convictions in three years, officials said Tuesday.
…Financed with $38 million from settlements in banking-related cases, [NY] dispatched more than 55,000 rape kits to testing labs.
…Meanwhile, another nearly 45,000 rape kits have been sent to labs through the Justice Department program — and it’s produced nearly 899 prosecutions and 498 convictions and plea bargains, according to data the agency provided Monday to The Associated Press.
…It’s estimated that another 155,000 or more sex assault evidence kits still await testing, and thousands of results have yet to be linked to suspects. Many who have been identified can’t be prosecuted because of legal time limits and other factors.
…The backlog built up over decades, partly due to the cost of tests that can run $1,000 or more.
But victims’ advocates also say many sex assault cases simply got sidelined over the years by police and prosecutors who unduly disbelieved or downplayed victims’ allegations.