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Pennsylvania Reduces Rape Kit Backlog By 90 Percent

Pat Sullivan
A vial containing evidence is labelled in the biology lab at the Houston Forensic Science Center Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Houston.

Pennsylvania has reduced its backlog of untested rape kits by nearly 90 percent in three years.

That's according to Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who made the announcement Thursday.

About 340 kits still await testing by crime labs, down from more than 3,200. Medical personnel use the kits to collect DNA and other evidence of sexual assault. The backlog represents the number of kits that have gone more than a year without being tested.

State police and the Philadelphia Police Department had no untested kits as of Dec. 31, while the Allegheny County medical examiner reported 94 and local law-enforcement agencies 245.

A 2015 state law required speedier testing of rape kits. Increased state funding as well as outside grant programs have helped whittle down the backlog.