AG Stein says not enough progress being made on clearing NC’s rape kit backlog

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is asking for more money and resources to handle the backlog of rape kits and the new ones coming in.

Back in 2019, a new law was meant to address the issue. While Stein said progress has been made, he’s asking for more money and resources to address the issue.

“Sometimes I feel like there is no justice for sexual assault victims,” Krista Maiden said.

She knows that firsthand. She told CBS 17 she was brutally beaten and sexually assaulted back in 2015.

“It was extremely violent, I thought he was going to kill me,” she said.

She said she didn’t know her attacker. It happened near Uptown Charlotte and it took two years for the results of the rape kit to come back.

CBS 17 first introduced you to Maiden back in 2019. She never got justice.

“They said there wasn’t enough evidence to prove behind a reasonable doubt even with a match,” Maiden said.

In 2017, Stein said there were 16,175 rape kits waiting to be tested. Some are decades old.

In 2019, a new law, which led to additional resources, has meant the state had processed about half of them.

Stein is now asking state lawmakers for another $9 million to eliminate the backlog. He estimates it will take at least two years.

“We don’t have enough resources to turn those around as quickly as law enforcement and the public safety demands,” Stein said.

He’s also asking for 12 additional scientists to keep up with the kits coming in.

Stein said the legislature and Gov. Roy Cooper included the funding in their budgets, so he’s optimistic it will be in the final bill.

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