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Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) GranteeNorth Carolina Department of Justice

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The North Carolina Department of Justice (NC DOJ) was awarded a $2-million SAKI grant in FY2018. The funding has been used to complete their sexual assault kit (SAK) inventory; develop a comprehensive, statewide approach for addressing previously unsubmitted SAKs; and increase trauma-informed sexual assault investigations and prosecutions.

Through their SAKI award, NC DOJ has convened regular multidisciplinary team meetings with representatives from across the state and from many different professional backgrounds; these meetings have involved discussions about project progress and about developing guidance regarding cold case sexual assault investigations for local jurisdictions. As of September 2020, the NC DOJ SAKI team had developed victim notification protocols and held trainings across the state to educate law enforcement personnel, district attorneys, and victim advocates about this new protocol.

For more information on the specific SAKI awards for this site, see the table below.

North Carolina Department of Justice Funding

Year Amount Purpose Area
FY2018 $2,000,000 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits

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News and Events

How is North Carolina doing on the rape kit backlog?
WFmynews2, Feb 8, 2023
"Back in 2018, the attorney general's office found over 16,000 untested rape kits in local law enforcement offices across the state. Since then, they have cut that backlogged number in half. The AG's office hopes to speed up production with more staff. The office anticipates backlogged rape kit testing will be done by the end of the year, or by the start of 2024."

New Hanover County judge sentences man to over 48 years for 1996 rape and kidnapping case
WECT, Dec 12, 2022
"A jury in New Hanover County has convicted Timothy Craig Iannone of first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping for a case dating back to 1996. Without the efforts of the State of North Carolina and Attorney General Josh Stein to provide millions of dollars to test rape test kits that had remained on shelves for decades this case might never have been solved."

State working to process backlog of untested rape kits
wavy.com, Nov 23, 2022
"Nearly four years after the backlog of sexual assault kits were discovered in North Carolina, the attorney general says progress is being made in testing them. Approximately 16,000 kits were discovered at the time. Now in 2022, efforts have been made to tackle the issue. Since 2019, 12,000 of the kits have been tested."

Attorney General Josh Stein Provides Sexual Assault Kit Testing Update
ncdoj.gov, Jul 14, 2022
"Attorney General Josh Stein today announced a new record of hits in the CODIS DNA database: 1,211 hits. That is a nearly 18 percent increase from the previous fiscal year and means that – thanks to increased testing – law enforcement has more ability than ever to move forward on cases. In addition to announcing this milestone, Attorney General Stein has launched a statewide sexual assault kit tracking dashboard. This dashboard was made possible by federal funding through the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative."

News Channel 12 Investigates: State leaders working to decrease sexual abuse kit backlogs
News Channel 12, Kate Hussey and Jordan Honeycutt, May 23, 2022
"More progress is being made in clearing the backlog of untested sexual assault kits that sat on the shelves of North Carolina law enforcement agencies for decades. News Channel 12 has been following the sexual assault kit tracking system year after year, ever since it was first implemented in 2018. This year, Attorney General Josh Stein, said funding has been key. “We are continually learning about cases being solved, there have been some 60 different cases, or people who have been identified through this work, responsible for over 90 crimes,” said Stein."

Hendersonville man charged in sexual assault cold case from 2005, deputies say
WYFF, Feb 1, 2022
Man arrested in Hendersonville, NC after DNA evidence linked him to a sexual assault case from 2005. The SAK was tested thanks funding from NC's “Standing Up for Rape Victims" (SURVIVOR) Act.

After two years, Survivor Act has legacy of rape convictions
Carolina Public Press, Sep 24, 2021
To date, more than half of the old rape kits have been either tested or are in some process of testing. Of those, 3,756 kits have completed testing. Scientists have so far been able to extract a valid DNA sample from 1,379 kits, and of those 41%, or about 560, were a match on the federal Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS.

Jury returns guilty verdict in decades-old Wilmington rape case
Krys Merryman, StarNews Online, May 20, 2021
DNA from a previously untested SAK leads to guilty verdict in cold case sexual assault from 1996 in Wilmington, NC.

Jury returns guilty verdict in decades-old Wilmington rape case
Krys Merryman, StarNews Online, May 20, 2021
DNA from a previously untested SAK leads to guilty verdict in cold case sexual assault from 1996 in Wilmington, NC.

Attorney General Josh Stein Provides Update on Sexual Assault Kit Testing
North Carolina Department of Justice, Dec 10, 2020
“Continuing to test these kits is critical to promoting public safety in North Carolina,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Thanks to tested kits, law enforcement has made arrests in recent weeks solving violent crimes in Fayetteville, Wilmington, Durham, and other communities across the state. The state has tested 2,169 previously untested SAKS. 764 cases have been entered into the state and national DNA databases. Forty percent of those cases had a hit to a known person in the database or to another case, allowing law enforcement to move the case forward.

NC Senate approves budget with rape kit reform
Matt Moore, WYFF, May 31, 2019
NC Senate has approved the state's budget which earmarks $3 million for testing unsubmitted sexual assault kits.

NC has more than 10,000 untested rape kits. A new plan aims to erase the backlog.
Josh Shaffer, The News & Observer, Jan 29, 2019
NC Attorney General Josh Stein announced the introduction of the Survivors Act which asks for $6 Million in funding for testing previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits and set standards for submitting kits to the crime lab.

North Carolina Gets $2 Million Federal Grant to Test Sexual Assault Kits
Alex Olgin, WFAE 90.7, Oct 4, 2018
North Carolina received $2 million in funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to test previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits, investigate and prosecute the associated cases, and receive training on trauma-informed, victim-centered approaches.

North Carolina Launches Sexual Assault Tracking System
Alex Olgin, WFAE 90.7, Oct 1, 2018
The North Carolina Attorney General's office will be launching their new Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Technology Inventory Management System (STIMS) early next week. This system will allow victims to track their sexual assault kits as they go through processing.

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Our Mission

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.

This Web site is funded in whole or in part through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this Web site (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).

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