Attorney General Bondi’s Weekly Briefing
January 26, 2018
Great news this week in our campaign to eliminate the backlog of untested sexual assault kits. The latest progress report just issued by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows the state processed more than 6,000 kits. I am thrilled by the progress we have made as we approach our goal of testing 8,600 by June of 2019.
Processing these previously untested kits unlocks DNA evidence that can be used to solve crimes and bring some closure to sexual assault victims. So far testing these kits has produced 1,461 hits in key DNA databases. One of those DNA matches led to the recent arrest of a Virginia man on charges related to a 20-year-old sexual battery in Fort Myers. Our campaign to eliminate the backlog breathed new life into this cold case—and I believe more cases will be solved through our efforts.
In 2015, I gathered law enforcement, prosecutors, sexual assault survivors and advocates together to request that the backlog be tested. In the 2016 legislative session, I worked with lawmakers to secure the funding needed to tackle this enormous task. Working together we secured the necessary resources, and today, I am encouraged by how fast we are approaching our goal.
As a career prosecutor and your Attorney General, I have seen first-hand the power of DNA evidence in catching and prosecuting sexual predators—and that is why this campaign is so important. I want to thank FDLE, our state legislature and everyone working to eliminate the backlog, catch sexual predators and help the victims of these horrific crimes heal.