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Legislation Hopes To Redirect Funding To Eliminate Rape Kit Backlog

Legislation sponsored by Texas Senator John Cornyn eliminates untested rape kits

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LaVinia Masters says after she was assaulted as a young girl in Dallas, she thought evidence collected in her case would quickly lead to an arrest.

“When I saw my file, they actually put it in a ‘suspended’ mode, because they said they didn’t have any evidence,” said Masters.

It took over two decades before Masters found closure and the man responsible was sent to prison. Senator John Cornyn, R-TX, worked hard to help rape victims.

“I can’t tell you how many lives have been shattered by the failure to test these kits and the power that this evidence provides. So that’s the reason why this legislation was so important,” said Cornyn.

Cornyn’s legislation, called the SAFER Act, is helping eliminate the national backlog.

Capt. Jennifer Evans of the Houston Police Department says it should mean no more backlogs of untested kits.

“In some cases, we may be able to get a result now that we may not been able to get at the time, if it were tested,” said Evans. “But, we know that going forward technology’s gonna continue to improve.”

Houston’s backlog of untested rape kits once numbered more than 6,600.

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