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New state law requires faster processing of rape investigation kits


LANSING (WKZO) -- Police will have to get rape kits analyzed faster thanks to a new law signed by Governor Rick Snyder last week. The legislation was prompted by the discovery of eleven-thousand untested kits in Detroit in 2009. Since then, investigators have been working through the backlog and expect to have all the material analyzed by next May. State Representative Joe Walsh says that the problem of untested rape kits isn't just a Detroit issue.

"While, numerically, Detroit was the biggest problem, this has happened across the state," Walsh said. "Whatever the cost, somebody didn't know what to do with the kits or they just fell behind or there wasn't funding, it doesn't matter. We need to put a mechanism in place to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Local police will now be required to have the kits collected within 14 days of being notified of a sexual assault and have the evidence turned over to Michigan State Police or an approved lab within another 14 days.