San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr on Tuesday said the city’s entire backlog of old rape kits has been counted by hand and will be tested by the end of the year with money already in the department’s budget, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
The pledge means San Francisco stands to join a handful of cities around the country with no backlog of rape kits. New York City, Cleveland and Houston are among the few cities that have cleared their backlogs.
"We’re very proud of the place we’re going to be," Suhr said. "This is huge."
The San Francisco crime lab has already cleared a backlog of 753 newer rape kits, but hadn’t dealt with those collected before 2003 largely because the statute of limitations for prosecuting rapes in California is 10 years.
That statute of limitations doesn’t apply, however, in sexual assaults that involve weapons or kidnapping or that were committed by public officials or clergy, Suhr said. He added that rape kits from more serious cases were tested years ago and that he doesn’t expect any of the remaining kits to lead to prosecution.