Local rape kits tested

More than 24 sexual assault kits from Wood County are among over 5,000 that have been tested by forensic
scientists with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) as part of an initiative to test rape
kits that had never before been tested for DNA.
Of those 24 kits tested, two have yielded hits on a nationwide DNA index.
Jill Del Greco, a spokesperson for the Office of Attorney General Mike DeWine, indicated that the kits
came from cases from four Wood County police agencies: six from the Bowling Green Police Division; 10
from Bowling Green State University Police; one from Perrysburg Township Police; and seven the Wood
County Sheriff’s Office.
Of those, one kit from the BGPD, and one from the Sheriff’s Office rendered hits in the Combined DNA
Index System, which contains the DNA of convicts and arrestees.
Del Greco said that their office would not release the ages of kits from specific agencies, but said that
some kits submitted for testing in the state dated back as far as the 1980s.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, as of Wednesday, BCI forensic scientists have tested 5,023
rape kits as part of DeWine’s Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative. The DNA testing has resulted
in 1,861 hits to DNA already in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
"Each one of the kits submitted to us represents a victim who deserves to have the evidence in his
or her case thoroughly examined, no matter how long ago the crime occurred," said Attorney General
DeWine in a press release. "My office made it a priority to test these kits as quickly as possible,
and we have surpassed our own goals by testing these kits faster than initially anticipated."
October marks the start of the third year of DNA testing in connection with the special initiative. BCI
scientists surpassed the testing goals for both the first and second years of the initiative, according
to the release.
DeWine launched the initiative after learning that dozens of law enforcement agencies across the state
were in possession of rape kits, some of which were decades old, that had never been sent to a DNA lab
for testing. Attorney General DeWine then made an open call to law enforcement to send their kits to BCI
for DNA testing free of charge.
In Cuyahoga County alone, those with the county prosecutor’s office report that more than 200 people have
been indicted subsequent to testing conducted as part of the SAK Testing Initiative.
In all, 144 law enforcement agencies have submitted a total of 8,899 kits from their evidence rooms for
testing as part of the initiative.
To handle the influx of the thousands of kits, DeWine hired 10 additional forensic scientists to ensure
the kits’ timely analysis without slowing down the testing of kits associated with recent crimes. SinceĀ 
DeWine took office in 2011, BCI has tested 5,897 rape kits as part of their normal casework.
Despite a marked increase in overall cases submitted to BCI for forensic testing, the release stated that
turnaround time has lowered to an average of 22.5 days in September, which is a significant decrease
from December, 2010, when it took BCI an average of 125 days to return DNA testing results to
investigating law enforcement agencies.