Washington state rolls out online portal for victims to track rape kit testing

SEATTLE (AP) — Survivors of sexual assaults in Washington state can now track the progress of their kits being analyzed through a new online portal.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports Washington State Patrol has implemented this week the online tracking system for sexual assault kits to allow survivors, as well as lawyers, medical staff and law enforcement to follow the testing process.

The state completed an inventory of untested sexual assault kits last month, counting 6,460 kits that had not yet been submitted by law enforcement agencies across the state for lab testing. The oldest untested kit dated back to 1982.

Larry Hebert, director of the patrol's forensic laboratory services bureau, says a kit can take four to six weeks to process.

The nearly 6,500 unsubmitted rape kits are separate from the backlog of rape kits that have been submitted, but have not yet been tested by the state Crime Lab.

Since 2015, more than 3,300 backlogged kits have been sent to the Crime Lab. Of those, 1,700 have been tested and another 1,100 are in the testing process. According to the AG's office, testing the backlogged kits has already led to arrests in cold cases, including a suspect who was charged with child rape more than 10 years after the crime.

Click here to learn more about the online portal.