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The New Mexico Second Judicial District Attorney's Office has received nearly $3 million in SAKI funding since its first award in FY2018. The District Attorney's Office is utilizing their initial $1-million award to enhance the prosecutorial processes that have resulted from testing sexual assault kits (SAKs) in the city of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. The City of Albuquerque Police Department received SAKI funding in FY2017; therefore, the District Attorney's Office has seen an increased caseload. The office has established a Sexual Assault Cold Case Working Group, contracted additional personnel, and is currently developing and implementing victim-centered communication and coordination strategies.
The New Mexico Second Judicial District Attorney's Office received another SAKI award in FY2019 for $1 million, which allowed them to continue their project work. The funding is also being utilized to support two full-time secretaries and two full-time paralegals; implement DNA analysis through forensic genetic genealogy testing and complex screening in hopes of identifying serial offenders; continue prosecuting cases from previous SAKI-funded projects; and expand the agency's capacity to serve victims, process SAKs, prosecute offenders, and eliminate the number of previously unsubmitted SAKs.
In FY2020, the site received an additional $993,979 in SAKI funding to continue supporting project personnel and hire four positionsa senior trial attorney, trial attorney, senior investigator, and victim advocate. Project funding will also be utilized to continue investigating and prosecuting cases identified in previous SAKI awards.
In FY2022, SAKI funding was awarded in the amount of $1.5 million to the Second Judicial District Attorney's Office to continue supporting project personnel and hire three additional team memberstwo senior trial attorneys and one special investigator. The SAKI team will provide pre-screening support for approximately 700 remaining cases to be sent for DNA testing, and for advanced screening, investigation, and prosecution of 159 cases.
For more information on the specific SAKI awards for this site, see the table below.
|FY2018||$1,000,000||Investigation and Prosecution of Cold Case Sexual Assaults|
|FY2019||$1,000,000||Investigation and Prosecution of Cold Case Sexual Assaults|
|FY2020||$993,979||Investigation and Prosecution of Cold Case Sexual Assaults|
|FY2022||$1,500,000||Investigation and Prosecution of Cold Case Sexual Assaults|
Please direct all media inquiries to
Dozens of lawyers volunteer to help prosecute rape kit backlog cases
Brittany Bade, KRQE, Mar 3, 2020
The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office is rolling out a new initiative to prevent another devastating and dangerous backlog in the court system.
DNA links former Bernalillo County firefighter to 2009 rape case
Rebecca Atkins, KRQE Media, Oct 22, 2019
DNA results from a backlog of rape kits link Celso Montano Jr. to rape in 2009.
Could $1 million grant help ease city's rape kit backlog?
Shellye Leggett, KOAT 7, Oct 4, 2018
The Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office received a $1 million grant as part of the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative for the investigation and prosecution of cases stemming from previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
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.