Attorney General DeWine Releases February Sexual Assault Kit Testing Update

February 4, 2014 in News, State News

The Toledo Journal Newswire

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — In an effort to keep the public up-to-date on the progress of the Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative, Attorney General DeWine released the following status update today:

As of February 1, 2014:

  • Forensic scientists with the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) have received 5,523 previously untested rape kits from 121 law enforcement agencies in Ohio.
  • BCI has completed DNA testing on 2,737of those rape kits.
  • The DNA testing has led to 886 hits in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

Attorney General DeWine announced the SAK Testing Initiative in December 2011 by offering free DNA testing to any law enforcement agency with untested rape kits in which a crime was believed to have been committed.  Many of the kits submitted as part of the initiative are between one and two decades old.

In Cuyahoga County, prosecutors and investigators working as part of a DNA Cold Case Task Force have, so far, generated 76 indictments as a result of the SAK Testing Initiative.  Among those indictments are nearly two dozen “John Doe” indictments, in which prosecutors have indicted unknown individuals identified only by their unique DNA fingerprint in cases approaching the expiration of the 20-year statute of limitations for rape.

Last week, Prosecutor Timothy McGinty announced that a “John Doe” suspect, indicted in April for the 1993 rape of a 13-year-old girl and the 1996 rape of a 37-year-old woman, was identified after his DNA was taken following his conviction in connection with a separate crime.

George Young, 48, is currently serving a 32-year prison sentence after his conviction last year on charges of Felonious Assault and Improperly Discharging a Firearm at or into a Habitation or School.  DNA collected following that conviction then matched DNA collected from the 1993 and 1996 rape kits tested as part of the SAK Testing Initiative.

“I applaud the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office for indicting these “John Doe” cases on the chance of an eventual DNA match,” said Attorney General DeWine.  ”This case goes to show that rape survivors should not give up hope if a there isn’t an immediate DNA match in their case because a match could happen in the future.”