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Recent grant allows Oregon State Police to process more sexual assault kits

Senate Bill 1571 and the Danny Grant added nine new scientists to the forensics unit to test more rape kits.

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Oregon State Police is making a dent in processing sexual assault forensic evidence kits, or SAFE kits, thanks to a recent grant.

So far, only five matched DNA to a profile from a SAFE kit review.

Senate Bill 1571 and the Danny Grant added nine new scientists to the forensics unit to test more rape kits.

Since September 22, Oregon State Police received a total of 333 SAFE kits. Out of those, 13 had no male DNA and 73 had no CODIS profiles at all.

A CODIS profile means forensics has enough DNA to identify a person, if there was something to match that DNA against.

“Just because you find a quality profile that could be entered into CODIS, or a good quality latent print, doesn't mean you're going to find a match, but it gives you something to search against,” said Cpt. Alex Gardner, director of forensic service for OSP.

33 of the SAFE kits contained DNA matching a person other than the victim. 22 of those 33 people are now in the national database.

The money from the Danny Grant helped the rape kits get processed in external labs, but police say there are still thousands of kits left to process.

Training a DNA analyst takes a full year.

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