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Utah working through backlog of untested rape kits

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah authorities are working their way through a backlog of untested rape kits, one year after police began submitting the evidence to crime labs amid public scrutiny.

A report released Tuesday says that police have submitted about 1,200 kits to the crime lab, and authorities are sending them to private labs for testing using $750,000 set aside by state lawmakers.

State crime lab officials say that testing has been completed on about 100 of those kits, and in seven cases a federal database has connected the DNA evidence with suspects in other crimes.

Advocates say that making those kinds of connections can stop repeat offenders. Previously, Utah police weren't testing every evidence kit, citing cost and time constraints if a suspect had been caught or if a case couldn't be prosecuted.

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