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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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DNA samples from three rapes match, sparking search for serial rapist

In 2013, a woman said she’d been held hostage in a stranger’s Spokane home and raped repeatedly for three days before she escaped. Seven years later, through DNA sampling, Spokane police believe the same man is responsible for at least two other local rapes during the last decade.

Rape kit backlog bill signed into law

Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a measure that seeks to eliminate a backlog of about 10,000 untested rape kits by December 2021.

Rape kit testing backlogged in Idaho state labs

The State Police, along with the FBI, are tasked with testing DNA results from rape kits submitted by local law enforcement agencies across the state. ISP worked through 316 backlogged rape kits in 2017. But still, 527 unsubmitted kits dating back to 1995 remain unprocessed.

Senate votes 34-1 in favor of rape-kits funding bill

The Idaho Senate has voted 34-1 in favor of legislation to change the current practice in which victims of sexual assault have their health insurance charged for the cost of forensic exams to gather evidence of the crime from their bodies. “The forensic examination is...

State crime lab head says rape kit testing is progressing

Significant progress has been made on clearing Idaho’s backlog of untested sexual assault kits, but the lab still is not meeting a mandate to conduct tests within an average of 90 days, the head of the state crime lab said.

Work continues to get all rape kits in Idaho tested

Idaho law enforcement agencies are continuing to work through a backlog of untested rape kits in the wake of a law requiring that all rape kits undergo testing, a process that could take a while.

In unusual step, victims told of destroyed rape kits

She was surprised, earlier this year, when she got a call from the initial investigating officer, John Somerindyke, who apologized for how she was treated and for something that Veronica didn’t yet know: Her rape kit was among 333 kits that Fayetteville police had thrown away. Years after the kits were discarded, Fayetteville police began working with a crisis group to call the victims and tell them what happened.

Montana set to begin processing untested rape kits

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.

Idaho House passes rape kit retention bill

The Idaho House unanimously approved legislation Monday that would create a statewide standard on how long physical evidence in sexual assault investigations should be retained. According to the proposal, rape kits involved in felony or anonymous cases would have to be retained for 55 years or...

Legislation to retain rape kits headed to Idaho House floor

Law enforcement agencies would have to follow new statewide standards on how long physical evidence in sexual assault investigations should be retained under new legislation headed to the House floor. "God forbid we ever throw out evidence that could have led to somebody's conviction," said Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, who has become the...

Expand rape-kit testing

The experiences of other states show that it is beneficial to test all kits. Doing so has helped authorities nab serial rapists – some of whom claimed “consensual sex” – and exonerate the innocent.

Nearly half of Idaho’s rape kits not sent to lab

A new state audit of the evidence collected in Idaho’s sexual assault investigations shows that law enforcement officials didn’t submit nearly half of the rape kits to be tested. Officials say that’s largely because the cases were no longer being investigated or the agency determined no crime had been committed.