Backlogged rape test kits produce several possible leads

Backlogged rape test kits produce several possible leads
(Hawaii News Now/file)

HONOLULU (AP) - An effort by law enforcement to test more than 1,500 backlogged rape kits has resulted in DNA matches with more than 120 potential suspects in a national offender database.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports in 19 cases the victim’s DNA matched that taken from another crime scene, potentially linking yet unknown assailants to multiple crimes.

It’s not clear how many of the cases were unsolved at the time the kits were tested. But the “hits,” as they are referred to by crime experts, can identify unknown perpetrators, confirm the identity of known offenders, connect rapists to previously unsolved crimes and exonerate innocent suspects.

So far, there haven’t been any arrests or charges brought in the cases in Hawaii, but law enforcement officials say they are hopeful that some will lead to convictions.

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