Detroit team methodically pores over rape kits

Continue to review old cases

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DETROIT - Some cities are pushing through backlogs of unprocessed sexual assault evidence from cases that span decades, but a team in Detroit is being more methodical to ensure against repeat problems.

Police, prosecutors and researchers with the Detroit Sexual Assault Kit Action Research Project continue to review old cases tied to more than 11,000 rape kits from a police storage facility.

Some of the kits could take up to a year to review, test and then retest.

Detroit and Houston are receiving funding from the Justice Department to reduce such backlogs and put together procedures to prevent them from recurring.

Houston's backlog had reached more than 4,000 rape kits.

Some advocacy groups say an estimated 180,000 to 400,000 kits wait for testing nationwide with new cases being reported daily.

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