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Utah Lawmaker Wants Mandate To Test Rape Kits

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.

Salt Lake City Democratic Rep. Angela Romero said at a Tuesday night town hall meeting that she's working on legislation that would require the 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 that sexual assault but to try to identify serial rapists or tie suspects to other crimes.

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Lawmakers have already set aside $3 million to help test a 2,700-kit backlog from the past few years.

State crime lab director Jay Henry says the overwhelmed lab won't finish those until 2018.