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Florida says it has backlog of 13,000-plus rape test kits

Managing backlog to take several years, millions of dollars

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says more than 13,000 rape test kits around the state have not been submitted for processing.

Managing that backlog could cost the state tens of millions of dollars and take several years.

The FDLE released results Monday of a $300,000 study on the number of untested kits and will present the findings to the Legislature.

The report said estimates of managing the backlog range from about $9 million to $32 million dollars.

"I am pleased FDLE completed its assessment, providing more information about unprocessed sexual assault kits in Florida," Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said. "Testing these kits is a public safety issue that must be addressed; and in this upcoming legislative session, I will work with lawmakers, law enforcement and victims' advocates to ensure our state crime labs have the resources needed to continue testing unprocessed sexual assault kits."

Rape kit testing backlogs has been an issue across the U.S. In September, federal officials said an estimated 70,000 rape kits sitting in laboratories and evidence collection rooms across the country will be tested.