Data and Results
In July of 2015, the Washington State Legislature provided the Washington State Crime Lab with funding to begin testing the state’s backlog of unsubmitted sexual assault kits. In October of 2017, the Washington State Attorney General's Office was awarded a $3 million SAKI Grant to continue this important work. The Washington State Attorney General’s Office will sub award $1.5 million, the maximum amount allowable under the SAKI grant, to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab to test unsubmitted sexual assault kits. The Attorney General’s Office began conducting its inventory of unsubmitted sexual assault kits in June of 2018. At that time, local law enforcement had submitted 3,025 sexual assault kits to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab for testing using the 2015 Legislative funding.
This is a snapshot overview of the previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits in the State of Washington (04/30/2020). These numbers include both kits inventoried by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office and those submitted using legislative funding. The overview and numbers will continue to change as kits move through the submission and testing process. Definitions for each of these categories can be found below.
*Until all of the sexual assault kits have been received and verified by the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory, these numbers are still subject to change (last updated 04/30/2020).
Backlog of Sexual Assault Kits
Previously Untested Kits in 2015: This number provides an estimate of the total number of unsubmitted sexual assault kits starting in 2015. This number includes both the total number of sexual assault kits inventoried through the Washington Sexual Assult Kit Initiative project (WA SAKI) in 2018 and those previously submitted for testing before the Attorney General's Inventory using Legislative funding. Prior to this project, the kits were being held by law enforcement agencies and had not been previously submitted to the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory for DNA testing. To learn more about the inventory that was conducted by the Washington State Attorney General's WA SAKI team Click Here
Sexual Assault Kits Submitted for Testing: The law enforcement agency has submitted a request to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab for the sexual assault kit to be transferred to an external lab for testing or the sexual assault kit is already at an external lab, but the testing is not yet complete.
Sexual Assault Kits Fully Tested: The external lab has completed testing and submitted the results for the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab to review.
Sexual Assault Kits with foreign DNA identified that were uploaded into CODIS: A foreign DNA profile that was identified from the DNA testing of the sexual assault kit met the FBI’s eligibility criteria and was uploaded into the Combined DNA Indexing System, or CODIS. For more information on CODIS, Click Here.
Sexual Assault Kits with a CODIS hit: The foreign DNA profile from the sexual assault kit that was uploaded into the Combined DNA Indexing System (CODIS) matched the DNA profile of one or more DNA profiles within CODIS. A sexual assault kit can have more than one CODIS hit, so the total number of hits may exceed the number of sexual assault kits with CODIS hits. This number can continually change as hits can happen indefinitely into the future. A hit can be either a forensic hit or an offender hit.
Please Note: For this purpose, all CODIS hits (both forensic and offender) are counted regardless of whether they provide a specific investigative lead for a particular case. The CODIS hit count includes each individual DNA profile match between cases, as well as each DNA profile match belonging to an offender. The metric 'total number of hits' is utilized to be able to demonstrate case connectivity and where hits are generating by county and those originating in other states. This may differ from how CODIS hits are counted for other reporting purposes.
Forensic hit: The foreign DNA profile from the sexual assault kit that was uploaded into CODIS matched a DNA profile in the forensic index. The forensic index contains evidentiary profiles from crimes and are connected to incidents or cases and not to specific individuals.
Offender hit: The foreign DNA profile from the sexual assault kit that was uploaded into CODIS matched a DNA profile in the offender or arrestee index. The offender and arrestee indexes contain DNA profiles obtained at the time of arrest or conviction and are connected to a named individual. For the purposes of this project, offender hits can be classified as cold or warm hits. This terminology and sub-classification is different than current FBI/CODIS terminology.
Cold hit: The foreign DNA profile from the sexual assault kit matched the DNA profile of an offender or arrestee and that offender/arrestee was not identified as a suspect in the case associated with the sexual assault kit.
Warm (confirmatory) hit: The foreign DNA profile from the sexual assault kit matched the DNA profile of an offender or arrestee and that offender/arrestee was identified as a suspect in the case associated with the sexual assault kit.