Kentucky gets $3 million grant to investigate sexual assault

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- The federal government has given the Kentucky Attorney General's Office $3 million to investigate sexual assault cold cases.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will pay for a victim advocate, investigator and prosecutor among others to form a sexual assault cold case unit.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear said the money will also pay for another Kentucky State Police detective focused on sexual assaults. And it will pay for more people at the state crime lab to test rape kits.

“Let there be no doubt – this issue is not just about ‘kits,’ it’s about seeking justice for victims of sexual assault,” Beshear said. “My office applied for the SAKI grant to create a funding source to ensure the Commonwealth never has a rape kit backlog again and to ensure law enforcement and prosecutors statewide have the support they need to investigate, prosecute and seek justice for these victims.”

Rape kits contain physical evidence collected from victims in the hours after a sexual assault. The evidence can be compared to a DNA database to identify suspects. Kentucky had more than 3,300 untested kits. But nearly 95 percent of those kits have now been tested.

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