State Lab clears backlog of untested rape kits

New Mexico

The state is celebrating a victory Friday morning, announcing a backlog of nearly 1,300 untested rape kits has finally been cleared.

The State Crime Lab handles cases from outside Albuquerque, working on sex crimes that date back to the ’80s.

Now that its own log is clear, Gov. Susana Martinez says the lab will begin aiding the Albuquerque Police Department to do the same for its long list of cases.

Martinez says the state also has plans to establish a tracking system for sexual assault evidence to help victims stay up to date on their case.

Officials say it is a step in the right direction as they continue to work with victims who may have felt doubted all these years. 

“So another concurrent project has been how do we talk to victims from 30 years ago to tell them that their kit is finally being tested. You can imagine the anger and betrayal from a system that failed them,” says Connie Monahan, Special Assault Programs.

Mayor Keller is expected to speak on the status of Albuquerque’s backlog this weekend.

Keller has previously said that during his time as auditor, he noted 4,000 untested rape kits from Albuquerque alone. 

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