HELENA – The state Attorney General’s Office has the green light from the federal government to begin testing hundreds of rape kits that had been sitting untouched in evidence lockers across the state.
Attorney General Tim Fox on Monday said more than 1,100 unprocessed rape kits, some dating back to 1995, will be sent in batches to a laboratory in Salt Lake City for testing.
Last fall, the federal government awarded Montana $2 million to do the work. The federal grant follows national uproar over thousands of unprocessed rape evidence from across the country.
Fox established a task force about two years ago to explore the matter.
Some of the evidence was never tested because victims declined to press charges or preliminary evidence suggested a criminal act hadn’t occurred.
Local journalism is essential.
The journalists of The Spokesman-Review are a part of the community. They live here. They work here. They care. You can help keep local journalism strong right now with your contribution. Thank you.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.