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Florida Lawmaker Files Bill Seeking To Speed Up Processing Of Untested Rape Kits

Florida Channel

A Florida lawmaker has filed a measure aimed at speeding up the processing of DNA evidence collected in sexual assault investigations. That’s after a recent call by Attorney General Pam Bondi to get more funding for crime labs all across the state to test thousands of untested rape kits.

Rep. Janet Adkins (R-Fernandina Beach), the bill’s House sponsor, says this issue is close to her heart.

“Having a family member who’s been assaulted, this is personally important to me,” she said, during a recent press conference led by Bondi. “I think it’s critical, and I think it’s common sense that if DNA evidence is collected, that it’s tested.”

Under Adkins’ bill, any DNA evidence collected in a sexual assault investigation must be submitted to the statewide criminal analysis lab system within 21 days.  The Florida Department of Law Enforcement would have two months to submit a plan for analyzing the untested rape kits, and has until June 30th, 2017 to finish analyzing the evidence. Tampa Democratic Representative Janet Cruz also recently filed a similar bill.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.