According to the state’s Department of Public Safety, there are more than 200 sexual assault kits waiting to be tested in El Paso.
Recently, a spokesperson for DPS told KTSM, “The DPS El Paso crime lab currently has 210 sexual assault cases pending the completion of DNA analysis. Sexual assault evidence is continually received, processed and reported out on a regular basis.”
According to the spokesperson, this year, the department will be getting $4.2 million from the state to help clear that backlog.
State rep. Cesar Blanco told KTSM, “We want to make sure this funding is available for communities, for these rape kits and to make sure people are brought to justice.”
According to the spokesperson, the lab in El Paso will be adding a new analyst to complete the DNA portions of the analysis. It will also hire an additional full-time analyst to screen sexual assault kits to determine if there is biological material present for DNA testing.
Last month, Gov. Greg Abbott said he wanted lawmakers to approve an additional $14 million next session to pay for testing rape kits.
If you’ve been the victim of sexual assault and need help you can contact police or the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence in El Paso at 915-593-7300 or 1-800-727-0511.