Big financial gap for testing rape kit backlog still exists

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The latest monthly update on the testing of rape kits shows there is still a large funding gap to get all the rape kits tested.

WREG-TV uncovered more than 12,000 rape kits, some going back to the 1980’s, which were not tested by the Memphis Police Department.

Each month a report is released to update everyone on how the testing process is proceeding and on new training procedures.

The costs of testing the kits has been a major hurdle.

The Memphis City Council approved $1 million in March with $500,000 coming from the MPD budget and the same amount from Tennessee Criminal Justice Programs.

There is still a $3,775,500 funding gap that must be met to test all the kits and qualify for a $750,000 grant from the Plough Foundation.

Since December 2013, just over 6,000 kits have been testing leaving 5,553.

Of those tested, 162 investigations have been opened with 71 of those closed for various reasons and 22 indictments issued.

The report states ten victims are deceased; 13 victims declined to take part, and eight cases are past the statute of limitations.