Bill aims to help Albuquerque clear rape kit backlog
January 31, 2018 06:21 PM
SANTA FE, N.M. -- One state lawmaker is proposing a bill that would provide funding to help Albuquerque reduce its estimated backlog of 4,000 untested rape kits.
If lawmakers pass Senate Bill 123, the state would give Albuquerque $1.2 million to help process all those untested rape kits. In order to get that money, the city would have to invest $2 million of its own money.
"Talk about a crime-fighting bill; this is it right here,” said the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Cisco McSorley.
McSorley, D-Albuquerque, said he’s introduced the bill before but the city hasn’t been willing to match the funding.
"It is a statewide problem, but the city of Albuquerque needs to step up and help," he said.
McSorley said his bill would help investigators crack unsolved rape cases and police arrest rapists who haven’t been caught.
"We've been told that would end the backlog. Because what’s been happening is since Albuquerque doesn't do its rape kits, then that means there are rapists and molesters around the state who haven’t been caught but for the fact that their DNA hasn't been analyzed," he said.
Tthe state is a good financial shape, and McSorley believes the $1.2 million to help Albuquerque process its rape kit backlog would be money well spent.
"A prosecution of rape is a major crime and that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars," he said. "So even if we can catch 10 rapists with the DNA and get them to plead, we have paid for this bill in full and prevented many more rapes in the future."
KOB reached out to Mayor Tim Keller’s office to see if the city would spend the $2 million to match the bill. A spokesperson sent this statement:
"Clearing the backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits is one of the most important things we can do to honor our commitment to survivors and identify offenders to put them behind bars. It would be great for the state to take action to help us do that."
Created: January 31, 2018 06:21 PM
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