DENVER - Thousands of untested rape kits across Colorado could have a new chance at being DNA tested if a bill filed today by State Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, is passed.
McNulty drafted the bill after a CALL7 Investigation in November 2012 uncovered area police departments not testing the majority of rape kits, forensic evidence taken from victims after a sexual assault. CALL7 Investigator Keli Rabon found police departments like Fort Collins PD were not testing 77% of rape kits. Fort Collins later changed its policy and began testing more rape kits.
“When you have rape kits sitting on the shelf in local law enforcement offices, not being tested, we're missing key opportunities to bring sexual predators to justice,” McNulty told Rabon in November.
McNulty’s bill would create standards for collecting and testing forensic evidence taken after a sexual assault. It also creates time frames for when this evidence must be analyzed and compared to DNA databases.
The bill also addresses the backlog of currently untested rape kits by requiring law enforcement agencies to submit to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation an inventory of all untested rape kits in storage. According to the bill, CBI must develop a plan to analyze the untested kits.