The Nevada Office of the Attorney General (NOAG) was awarded a $1.98-million SAKI grant in FY2015 to develop a comprehensive, statewide approach to addressing over 7,000 unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs) identified through their inventory. From the beginning, NOAG's goal has been to effectively resolve the issue of unsubmitted SAKs and to build partnerships to assure that SAKs are submitted for testing going forward. NOAG will use funds to test previously unsubmitted SAKs; additionally, the funding will assist with investigation follow-ups, prosecutions, and victim support based on SAK testing results. NOAG has also supported the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), Las Vegas Rape Crisis Center, and the Clark County Prosecutor's Office to continue their collaboration that began in 2014 to address previously unsubmitted SAKs.
In FY2016, SAKI awarded NOAG an additional $1.96-million grant. They also received an additional federal award for $523,268 to fund the purchase of a statewide sexual assault tracking system. NOAG will use SAKI funds to resolve Combined DNA Index System hits, provide a statewide assessment of current policies and practices, cover training costs, and increase investigative and prosecutorial resources.
NOAG received an additional $933,656 in funding from SAKI in FY2017 to pursue the collection of lawfully owed DNA. The funding will go toward developing procedures to ensure consistency in collecting DNA samples from offenders (including offenders at all correctional facilities) and also training personnel to ensure DNA collection procedures align with legal and laboratory standards.
In FY2018, NOAG received an additional $1 million in SAKI funding to continue supporting LVMPD in investigating cold case sexual assault, with assistance from part-time support staff for research and entry of cases into the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program.
In FY2019, NOAG received an additional $2 million in SAKI funding to support the Clark County District Attorney's Office in their efforts to review cold cases presented by county law enforcement agencies, create victim-centered processes to engage survivors, and prosecute cases to the fullest extent possible. NOAG will also establish a team of investigators to provide statewide assistance for case investigation related to the testing of previously submitted SAKs.
In FY2020, NOAG received an additional $261,599 in SAKI funding to continue work from previous SAKI awards. This latest round of funding will be utilized for administrative support, and the funding will help organize a countywide task force, training, and sexual assault case investigations.
Funded in FY2015, NOAG has used SAKI funding to achieve several goals and milestones, including the following:
For more information on the specific SAKI awards for this site, see the table below.
|FY2015||$1,983,533||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2016||$1,962,414||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2017||$933,656||Expansion of DNA Databases to Assist with Sexual Assault Investigations and Prosecutions: Collection of Lawfully Owed DNA from Convicted Offenders and Arrestee DNA Collections|
|FY2018||$1,000,000||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2019||$2,000,000||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2020||$261,599||Investigation and Prosecution of Cold Case Sexual Assaults|
Please direct all media inquiries to:
Cold Case Victim Notification Video
Find out more information about Nevada's efforts to address previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits and read below for other news and events.
I-Team: Police solve 1989 cold case murder of 14-year-old Las Vegas girl
8 News, Jul 22, 2021
Forensic Genetic Genealogy used to solve 32 year old homicide of teenage girl.
Man, 57, returned to Las Vegas to face trial in 1994 sexual assault
Katelyn Newbert, Las Vegas Review - Journal, Jun 25, 2021
A national DNA database has linked a 57-year-old man convicted of sexual assault in 1995 to another rape in the Las Vegas Valley the year prior, according to court documents.
Man arrested for unsolved 1995 sexual assault of a minor in Las Vegas
Ashley Casper, Fox 5, May 10, 2021
DNA evidence leads to arrest in sexual assault from 1995 in Las Vegas.
Nevada’s backlog of untested sexual assault kits cleared
Audrey Owsley, KOLO News 8, Dec 31, 2020
Nevada AG Aaron Ford announced Thursday that testing for all previously backlogged sexual assault kits from prior to 2016 is now complete.
A New Sexual Assault Prosecutor For Washoe County
Andi Guevara, 2 News, Nov 20, 2018
SAKI funds allow Washoe County, Nevada to hire a new prosecutor dedicated to ensuring justice for sexual assault survivors and resolving active and cold cases of sexual assault.
Nevada AG's office: Rape kit backlog getting addressed
Associated Press, Las Vegas Sun, Nov 20, 2018
The Nevada attorney general's office announced that almost all of the 8,000 previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits have been sent to labs for testing.
Nevada testing of backlogged sexual assault kits leads to 17 arrests
Jordan Gartner. ABC 13 Action News, Nov 2, 2018
The Nevada Attorney General's Office announced that nearly 8,000 previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits have been sent for testing. So far, there have been 600 DNA matches and 17 arrests from completed tests.
Rape Kit Testing Leads to Arrests
KOH AM 780 News Talk, Sep 28, 2018
As of September, the testing of previously unsubmitted rape kits has lead to 13 arrests in Nevada.
Hidden in Prison: Nevada's Testing of Inmate DNA Solves Cases
Seth Augenstein, Forensic Magazine, Sep 21, 2018
There have been nine hits so far after DNA from many of the most violent and dangerous criminal in Nevada have been entered into CODIS. Three homicides, four rapes, one robbery, and one auto theft have been connected to offenders already behind bars.
AG: 12 arrests in Nevada as most of backlogged rape kits get sent for testing
News 3 Las Vegas, Aug 2, 2018
Testing of previously untested SAKs has resulted in at least 12 arrests in Nevada. As of June 30th, 6,367 of the 7,645 untested kits had been sent for testing.
Nevada Attorney General launches website addressing sex assault test kit backlog
KTNV Staff, May 10, 2018
The Nevada Attorney General’s Office launched a website providing information on their efforts to test previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits. The website including statistical information regarding SAK testing, information on how to report a sexual assault, and resources for survivors and law enforcement agencies.
As Nevada chips away at its rape kit backlog with one-time funds, officials eye permanent solution
Megan Messerly and Michelle Rindels, The Nevada Independent, Sep 10, 2017
Las Vegas Metro Police Department has received over $4.7 million to address a backlog of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits but is looking for ways to ensure long term sustainability for timely DNA testing.
$4M funding to help clear Nevada backlog in rape kit testing
Colton Lochhead, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Aug 24, 2017
Thanks to an additional $4.35 million funding injection, Nevada will be better able to address its backlog of untested sexual assault kits. The funding, along with funding from the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, will help Nevada submit and test the remaining kits, as well as assist investigation and prosecution on the DNA hits coming back from those cases. To learn more, read the full article.
Update on untested rape kits in Nevada
Ben Margiott, MyNews4, Mar 28, 2017
The Nevada Attorney General's Office provided an update on testing progress across the state. As of March 2017, around one third of untested kits in the state have been sent for testing. The office set December 2018 as the target date to complete testing in Southern Nevada. Read the story to get the full update.
Eight arrests made from latest rape kit backlog tests
Christy Wilcox, Las Vegas News, Dec 17, 2016
As a result of federal CODIS DNA hits, Las Vegas metro police have arrested eight sexual predators. This comes after 473 kits were analyzed as part of Nevada’s grant funding to end the backlog of rape kits in the state. Notably, Nevada is one of only three sites to receive federal grant money 2 years in a row. To learn more about Nevada’s efforts to address the SAK backlog, read the full article and watch the associated video.
Funds to help Henderson police tackle backlog of sexual assault kits
Las Vegas Review-Journal, Mar 31, 2016
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.