GBI: 'Warehoused' rape kits all tested

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More than two years after lawmakers approved legislation requiring the testing of thousands of rape kits, they have all been processed.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan, along with House Speaker David Ralston, R- Blue Ridge, and State Representative Scott Holcomb, D- Atlanta broke the news at the State Capitol Friday.

"I am very proud to announce today that the 3,005 sexual assault kits that were identified because of Senate Bill 304 have all been tested," said Rep. Holcomb, who shepherded the legislation through the General Assembly. 

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Holcomb drafted the bill after the discovery of thousands of evidence envelopes on hospital and evidence room shelves across the state. 

"They were in evidence rooms and forgotten about," said Keenan.  "Some of them were new, some of them were very old."

According to the GBI, the testing of those kits lead to 321 CODIS hits and helped investigators identify several repeat offenders, including two serial rapists. 

The 2016 law not only required the testing of previously unsubmitted kits, but also outlined how sexual assault evidence should be handled in the future.  It requires law enforcement agencies to pick up sexual assault evidence kits from caregivers within 72 hours and then turn them over to the GBI within 30 days. 

"What we have done here is incredibly important and meaningful and it has always been about pursuing justice for victims," said Rep. Holcomb. 

SEE ALSO: GBI: DNA links man to 3 rapes over past 12 years