SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawmaker wants to require that all evidence kits police collect after a sexual assault be tested to catalog and compare the perpetrator's DNA against other rapes.
Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, said at a Tuesday night town hall meeting that she's working on legislation that would require the Utah State Crime Lab, which has been grappling with a backlog, to test all rape kits.
Romero says she does not yet know how much it would cost, but it's important to run the tests — not only to investigate a sexual assault but to try to identify serial rapists or tie suspects to other crimes.
Lawmakers have already set aside $3 million to help test a 2,700-kit backlog from the past few years.
Jay Henry, state crime lab director, says the overwhelmed lab won't finish those until 2018.