Kentucky has received a $3 million federal grant that will fund a new unit in the attorney general’s office to investigate sexual assault cold cases.
The grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will pay for a victim advocate, an investigator and a prosecutor.
It will also provide funding for a Kentucky State Police Detective who will focus on sexual assaults.
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said the grant will also pay for more people at the state crime lab to test rape kits.
“It’s going to be an incredibly exciting initiative. It’s going to mean that folks who have had kits sit on a shelf truly have a champion, and even those kits that were rejected maybe once or twice by the state crime lab, actually get resubmitted and tested.”
Rape kits contain physical evidence collected from victims in the hours after a sexual assault.
The evidence can be compared to a DNA database to identify suspects.
Kentucky had more than 3,300 untested kits. But nearly 95 percent of those kits have now been tested.