More than three years after a 5 On Your Side investigation helped spark an initiative to test a backlog of rape kits in the state of Ohio, the state announced Thursday that forensic scientists have now tested 10,000 rape kits for DNA.
In 2012 an exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation revealed how thousands of rape kits remained untested on police department shelves across Ohio.
The 10,000 kits were tested as part of Attorney General DeWine's Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine launched the rape kits initiative and hired 10 additional forensic scientists to conduct testing at the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
In Cuyahoga County, where the majority of the submitted sexual assault kits are from, 445 defendants have been indicted so far.
According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, 162 of those offenders have been identified as serial offenders.
“We owed it to these women who had been victims and whose rape kits had never been tested,” Dewine said in an exclusive interview with NewsChannel 5 Chief Investigator Ron Regan.
The deadline to submit any remaining untested sexual assault kits associated with a past crime is March 23, according to Senate Bill 316, which was enacted in 2015.
Of the more than 12,000 kits submitted to BCI as part of the SAK Testing Initiative, 2,875 have been submitted since the law went into effect.