Watch Sen. Cornyn, UNTHSC on local news for reducing backlog of rape kits

Watch the Channel 8 and Channel 11 segments featuring U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, as he highlighted the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry (SAFER) Act at a press conference held at the UNT Health Science Center September 17.

The bipartisan legislation is designed to eliminate the massive national backlog of an estimated 400,000 untested rape kits waiting in law enforcement agency closets across the U.S. Sen. Cornyn’s legislation is expected to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 20. The UNTHSC Center for Human Identification will handle the DNA testing of the backlogged rape kits.

Victim advocate and sexual assault survivor Lavinia Masters shared her story at today’s meeting. Masters was raped in Dallas in 1985 at the age of 13. Masters’ rape kit sat untested for more than 20 years until it was finally tested in 2006. The DNA profile from her kit was linked to a serial rapist who had committed multiple sexual assaults, including the rape of an elderly woman.

UNTHSC’s Dr. Arthur J. Eisenberg, Dr. Scott Ransom and Fort Worth law enforcement representatives also were on hand.

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