It’s more than a little disturbing that the state has a backlog of more than 3,000 sexual assault kits to process.
That situation could indicate where sexual assault rates on the state’s priority list. But, it appears the problem is money. The solution would be the same.
Thankfully, the state will receive a $1.1 million federal grant to test the backlogged sexual assault evidence in the state troopers’ possession. But this grant will address only about a third of the kits. Still, that’s better than the situation as it exists.
The grant also will pay for a cold case investigator and a prosecuting attorney to focus on any cases that result from tests of the kits.
Not only women, who most often are the victims in sexual assault cases, but men, boys and girls are affected by such a backlog.
It is becoming more and more difficult for the state to provide services, such as this testing. Other services are being reduced, too, which is an effect of the state’s budget deficit.
A federal grant is much appreciated at this time. It will help Alaska provide justice in cases that call for it.
— Ketchikan Daily News,