The Missouri Office of the Attorney General (MOAG) was awarded a $2,871,423 SAKI grant in FY2018 to complete a statewide sexual assault kit (SAK) inventory and develop a comprehensive, statewide approach for addressing previously unsubmitted SAKs. In FY2020, MOAG was awarded an additional $2 million in SAKI funding to continue efforts from their FY2018 SAKI award and perform DNA testing on an additional 1,148 SAKs, upload Combined DNA Index System hits, and enter cases into the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program database. The funding also will be used to continue funding the site coordinator position.
As of January 2022, the Missouri SAKI site had collected an inventory of 7,020 previously unsubmitted SAKs. They have also established a multidisciplinary team with members representing all regions of the state; this team meets quarterly to discuss project progress and next steps. The MOAG has developed a specialized evidence tracking system (SAFETrack) to meet the needs of the state's sexual assault survivors and is in the process of inventorying and testing partially tested SAKs.
In FY2022, MOAG received an additional $2.5 million in funding to continue inventorying additional SAKs in a phased approach across the state, continue the implementation of the SAFETrack system, and continue funding of critical project personnel.
For more information on the specific SAKI awards for this site, see the table below.
|FY2018||$2,871,423||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2020||$2,000,000||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2022||$2,500,000||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
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Missouri Attorney General’s office praises law enforcement, community leaders in SAFE Kit Initiative Awards ceremony
KTTN News, Jun 7, 2023
" Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced that his office awarded SAFE Kit Initiative Service Awards to area law enforcement agencies and community partners for their dedication toward the eradication of untested sexual assault kits throughout the state. “The Attorney General’s Office has made great progress in the fight to clear the backlog of untested sexual assault kits throughout the state, but we haven’t done it alone,” said Attorney General Bailey."
KCPD working to reduce their backlog of sexual assault kits to help victims get justice quicker
KCTV5, May 5, 2023
"KCPD posted on their Twitter page that their Crime Lab’s DNA section is drastically reducing the backlog of sample tests. Although DNA can be used in most all cases, it seems to be key for sexual assault cases. Just last year, Kansas City was considered to beone of the cities in Missouri with the highest rate of untested sexual assault kits. In August of 2022, the State Attorney General released the SAFE Kit Initiative report. According to that report, KCPD had a total of 222 kit samples, 32 of which were partially tested."
Missouri Attorney General’s office secures conviction through SAFE Kit Initiative, 10 other cases headed to trial
KTTN, Dec 9, 2022
"Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that his Office had recently helped to secure a conviction because of the work his Office has done with the SAFE Kit Initiative. There are 10 other cases that are currently heading to trial because of DNA evidence obtained through the shipping and testing of untested sexual assault kits through the Missouri Attorney General’s SAFE Kit Initiative."
‘Across the finish line’: How Missouri plans to clear its sexual assault kit backlog by 2025
News Tribune, Dec 6, 2022
"Missouri will receive a third federal grant that will help the state finish clearing the state's backlog of untested sexual assault kits, Chris Nuelle, spokesman for Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, said Wednesday. The statewide effort to identify and process these kits has tested 5,246 so far, which makes up 85 percent of the backlog, according to data from the SAFE (sexual assault forensic evidence) kits initiative. In the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault, a victim often undergoes a forensic examination to collect evidence of the assault. A SAFE kit is the standardized kit used to collect the evidence."
Missouri gets third grant to test rape kit backlog
KFVS12, Nov 17, 2022
"Missouri is getting more money to clear the state's backlog of untested rape kits (Video/media)"
Hundreds of backlogged sex assault kits from Kansas City now being tested
Fox 4 KC, Oct 8, 2022
"Hundreds of untested sexual assault kits from Kansas City are in the process of being tested for DNA. The 226 kits are part of the backlog reported by the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department. The Missouri Attorney General’s office shipped the kits to a lab at Marshall University for testing. Another 300 kits were shipped to the same lab for testing in August."
According to a press release from the Schmitt’s office, more than 650 entities have been awarded the recognition for completing phase II of the SAFE Kit Initiative.
Monett-Times, Sep 14, 2022
"“The success of the SAFE Kit Initiative depends on active participation from hospitals and law enforcement agencies willing to dedicate the time and effort to help us clear the backlog of untested sexual assault kits and achieve justice for victims,” Schmitt said. “We wanted to highlight the wonderful work these departments and medical facilities have done and thank them for their continued partnership with our Office on this vital initiative.”
Missouri Attorney General’s office releases second SAFE Kit inventory report, ships 300 untested kits from Kansas City
KTTN News, Aug 16, 2022
“One of my first actions as attorney general was to launch the SAFE Kit Initiative to clear the backlog of untested kits across the state of Missouri. Since then, thanks to the dedication and hard work of Judge M. Keithley Williams and her team, the SAFE Kit Initiative has made major strides in working towards that goal,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “My Office will continue to work to ensure that we honor the courage of victims who came forward to report these heinous crimes by bringing offenders out of the shadows and off of the streets.”
University Of Central Missouri: Missouri Attorney General Grants Community Partnership Award To UCM Public Safety For Role In Helping With SAFE Kit Initiative
India Education Diary, Jul 12, 2022
“The success of the SAFE Kit initiative depends on active participation from hospitals and law enforcement agencies willing to dedicate the time and effort to help us clear the backlog of untested sexual assault kits and achieve justice for victims,” Schmitt said in a press release. “We wanted to highlight the wonderful work these departments and medical facilities have done and thank them for their continued partnership with our office on this vital initiative.”
Missouri Attorney General honors local law enforcement for their efforts in removing the state’s backlog of untested sexual assault kits
Branson News, Jun 24, 2022
“The success of the SAFE Kit Initiative depends on active participation from hospitals and law enforcement agencies willing to dedicate the time and effort to help us clear the backlog of untested sexual assault kits and achieve justice for victims,” Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement. “We wanted to highlight the wonderful work these departments and medical facilities have done and thank them for their continued partnership with our office on this vital initiative.”
Boone County man sentenced after Missouri attorney general’s office helps clear sexual assault kit backlog
ABC 17 News Team, May 27, 2022
"A Boone County man charged with forcible rape pleaded guilty in court on Friday and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Original charges were never filed and the sexual assault kit was never sent to a lab. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said, “When I launched the SAFE Kit Initiative in 2019, my ultimate goal was to obtain justice on behalf of the victims of these heinous crimes, and to keep victims front and center in everything we do. Judge M. Keithley Williams and her team have put in painstaking hours to get these kits inventoried and tested, and today’s guilty plea is undoubtedly a product of that hard work. While this is the first conviction obtained due to testing through the SAFE Kit Initiative, my Office will continue to work hard to ensure that it isn’t the last."
Missouri officials say they’re making progress in clearing the backlog of 7,000 untested evidence kits in sexual assault cases
Sarah Fentem, news.stlpublicradio.org/, Apr 4, 2022
"For more than three years, Missouri officials have been finding, tracking and testing the state’s backlog of thousands of the unaccounted-for kits. The state has sent 3,298 kits to labs for DNA testing, Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Monday. Nearly half of the kits officials sent for testing have been returned. Of those, 500 had enough DNA evidence to be uploaded into the federal FBI’s criminal database. Of the 500 uploads into the database, there have been 201 matches. Because of those matches, prosecutors have charged three suspects with rape."
Missouri AG: Major strides made in clearing untested sexual assault kits backlog
KTLO, Jan 12, 2022
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Wednesday that as of Dec. 31, the SAFE Kit Initiative, which aims to clear the backlog of untested sexual assault kits, has aided 115 police departments and sheriffs’ offices in clearing their backlogs of reported, untested sexual assault kits. Further, the office has sent 2,745 sexual assault kits to private labs for testing.”
Springfield Police Department has cleared its rape kit backlog
Jordan Meier, Springfield News-Leader, Sep 23, 2021
The Springfield Police Department has sent the last of its backlogged SAFE kits — commonly referred to as rape kits — off for testing, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Thursday. “Springfield is one of just a few police departments to achieve this goal, and largest police department in the state to do so,” Schmitt said. “Getting to this milestone here today is a true success story in how we can work together hand in glove with our federal and state partners and achieve great things.”
Over two dozen rape suspects have been identified from state project analyzing untested rape kits
Gretchen Bolander, KSN, Dec 2, 2020
The Missouri Attorney General highlighted 24 DNA hits as part of the state project to follow through on previously untested rape kits.
Springfield Police Department sends additional 50 sexual assault kits for testing through SAFE Kits Initiative
KY3, Aug 29, 2020
As part of this initiative, SPD has been able to send 112 SAKs to BODE for testing, reducing the number of backlogged SAKs held by SPD to 119. This effort comes as a result of a project created by the Attorney General’s SAFE Kit Initiative working group, to address the backlog of 6,968 sexual assault kits inventoried in the State of Missouri.
AG SCHMITT, JOPLIN PD SEND SECOND BATCH OF UNTESTED SEXUAL ASSAULT KITS TO LAB
Parker Padgett, KTTS 94.7, Feb 11, 2020
Missouri Attorney General's office sends second batch of previously untested SAKs off to private laboratory for testing.
Attorney general gives update on Missouri’s untested rape kit process
Fourstateshomepage.com, Jan 25, 2020
Earlier this week, Missouri’s attorney general announced testing is now underway on a backlog of thousands of untested sexual assault kits.
Report: 90% of backlogged rape kits in Mo. are untested
Amber Ruch, KFVS 12, Nov 20, 2019
Missouri has completed their SAK inventory. They uncovered 6,987 sexual assault kits.
Missouri Focuses on Consistency for Sexual Assault Kit Testing
Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, KMA Land, Nov 10, 2019
Missouri focuses on creating consistency in how SAKs are used and nearing the end of their inventory.
Statewide 'rape kit' inventory nears completion
Katharine Finnerty, Missourian, Aug 7, 2019
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has announced that 95.6% of law enforcement agencies and 98.5% of hospitals and Veterans Affairs medical facilities have completed an inventory of sexual assault kits.
Progress is being made on the untested rape kits in Missouri
Staff, OzarksFirst.com, Jun 19, 2019
In Jefferson City today, representatives from law enforcement, healthcare, and advocacy organizations across the state gathered to discuss the effort to clear out the backlog of thousands of untested sexual assault kits.
MISSOURI NEWS: ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC SCHMITT HOSTS SAFE KIT INITIATIVE MULTI-DISCIPLINARY GROUP
Marty Smith, STL News, Mar 14, 2019
Missouri Attorney General's office hosted their multi-disciplinary group meeting to further discuss and share input on how to proceed regarding previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits. Attendees included victim advocates, law enforcement, hospital, and healthcare representatives.
MO AG announces effort to tackle untested sexual assault kits
James Long, KFVS 2, Feb 26, 2019
Attorney General Schmitt announced Judge Mickey Williams as the site coordinator for the Missouri SAKI site and unveiled their plans for their SAKI grant.
New Attorney General vows to clear rape kit backlog
Kathryn Palmer, The Missourian, Jan 31, 2019
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announces that testing previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits through their FY 18 SAKI funding is a priority for his office.
Missouri awarded grant to clear rape kit backlog
Zach Barrett, News-Press Now, Oct 6, 2018
The Missouri Attorney General's Office received a $2.8 million grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to address previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
Hawley's office receives grant for rape kit testing, tracking systems
Barry Mangold, KMIZ 17, Oct 1, 2018
Josh Hawley, Missouri Attorney General, announced that his office has received a 2019 SAKI grant to begin testing the 5,424 previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits throughout the state of Missouri.
Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative aims to create a coordinated community response that ensures just resolution to sexual assault cases. Through this program, funding is provided to support multidisciplinary community response teams engaged in the comprehensive reform of jurisdictions approaches to sexual assault cases resulting from evidence found in previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.