Kansas City pursuing grants to whittle down rape kit backlog

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Kansas City Police Department is trying to obtain grant money in order to reduce a backlog of more than 1,300 untested rape kits, but say nearly half belong to victims who aren’t ready to pursue charges.

A rape victim advocacy group called the Joyful Heart Foundation released information last week about backlogs in five cities, including Kansas City’s 1,324 kits.

The department said in a written statement that “limited resources” have put the priority on testing kits of people who want their cases prosecuted, but evidence from reluctant victims will be held at least until the statute of limitations expires.

Local and state leaders across the U.S. have called attention to thousands of untested kits, and at least $76 million has been made available for testing, prosecution and reforms.