Criminal Justice Update
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Criminal Justice Update

More than 13,000 sexual assault kits analyzed as part of initiative

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative reached a milestone in the fall as it surpassed 13,000 kits analyzed.

DeWine launched the statewide initiative in 2011 after learning that many law enforcement agencies throughout the state were in possession of rape kits — some decades old — that had never been sent to a DNA lab for testing. DeWine made an open call to law enforcement to submit their kits to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) at no cost.
Also, Senate Bill 316, which went into effect in March 2015, required law enforcement to turn over any remaining older kits to a crime laboratory within one year. The law also requires that all newly collected rape kits be submitted to a crime lab no later than 30 days after law enforcement determines a crime has been committed.

About 300 local law enforcement agencies have submitted a total of 13,931 sexual assault kits for analysis as part of the initiative. As of Dec. 1, 13,463 of the submitted kits — or 97 percent — have been tested by BCI forensic scientists.

“This initiative is helping to hold accountable sexual predators who may have thought they had long ago gotten away with their crimes,” DeWine said.

For example, DNA testing conducted as part of the initiative helped investigators with the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office make an arrest in connection with a 1998 sexual assault.

The suspect, John Iden, 43, of Newark, pleaded not guilty in September to attempted murder, and multiple counts of kidnapping, rape, and felonious assault.