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Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) GranteeWashington State Attorney General

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The Washington State Attorney General's Office (AGO) received a $3-million SAKI grant in FY2017. The grant money is currently being used to test thousands of sexual assault kits (SAKs). This first SAKI grant helped to establish a SAKI team with investigators and trained law enforcement.

In FY2019, the Bureau of Justice Assistance awarded the AGO an additional $2.5 million to continue efforts with their SAKI project. This funding is being used to review partially tested SAKs and continue testing SAKs from their inventory. Once AGO has completed their inventories, funding will be utilized to expand victim advocacy services by hiring a full-time victim advocate to support victim-centered, trauma-informed practices. The FY2019 award will also be utilized to retain current investigators dedicated to their SAKI project.

The AGO received funding in FY2019 that is also being utilized for efforts related to unsolved sexual assault cases—specifically for collecting lawfully owed DNA from offenders convicted of murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, or a felony sex crime. Currently, the AGO is finalizing their census of offenders who owe lawfully owed DNA and piloting their DNA collection plan in one county in Washington.

In FY2020, the AGO was awarded an additional $670,000 in SAKI funding to continue work from their previous SAKI awards. This funding will be utilized to purchase necessary materials for local agencies to collect lawfully owed DNA samples from identified offenders, test the samples, upload eligible DNA profiles into the Combined DNA Index System, and continue solving cases associated with previously unsubmitted SAKs.

In FY2021, the AGO received two additional awards for Purpose Area 1 and Purpose Area 3. For Purpose Area 1, the AGO received an award in the amount of $821,233. The funding will be used to continue testing and tracking unsubmitted SAK evidence; allow AGO SAKI senior iInvestigator analysts to continue assisting jurisdictions with investigating and prosecuting cases that arise from testing unsubmitted SAKs; assist local law enforcement with additional DNA testing and Fforensic Genetic Genealogy testing; and provide victim-centered, trauma-informed training across the state.

For Purpose Area 3, the AGO received an award for $983,641 to continue the collection of lawfully owed DNA samples from convicted offenders, allow for the testing and uploading of samples into the Combined DNA Index System, and aid in the investigations and prosecutions that result from uploading these offender samples. Grant funding will advance the AGO Lawfully Owed DNA Project by continuinge to fund existing personnel; the funding will also support adding another senior investigator analyst to verify the census and assist in collecting DNA samples from offenders who currently reside in the community.

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

Washington State Attorney General Funding

Year Amount Purpose Area
FY2017 $3,000,000 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
FY2019 $1,500,000 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
FY2019 $1,000,000 Expansion of DNA Databases to Assist with Sexual Assault Investigations and Prosecutions: Collection of Lawfully Owed DNA from Convicted Offenders and Arrestee DNA Collections
FY2020 $670,000 Expansion of DNA Databases to Assist with Sexual Assault Investigations and Prosecutions: Collection of Lawfully Owed DNA from Convicted Offenders and Arrestee DNA Collections
FY2021 $821,233 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
FY2021 $983,641 Expansion of DNA Databases to Assist with Sexual Assault Investigations and Prosecutions: Collection of Lawfully Owed DNA from Convicted Offenders and Arrestee DNA Collections

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Washington State Attorney General Grantee Site Representatives

News and Events

Spokane rape kit leads to cold case arrest in 1979 Lake Tahoe killing, Mar 1, 2023
"A murder suspect in a 1979 El Dorado County cold case has been arrested after investigators found a DNA match for an unrelated crime in Washington state, according to the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office. The arrest of Harold W. Carpenter, 63, is the result of dogged detective work on the part of investigators in El Dorado County and the Spokane Police Department, as well as an initiative from the Washington attorney general that resolves to examine evidence in a backlog of thousands of unexamined sexual assault kits statewide."

State hopes to clear out remaining backlogged rape kits by the end of the year
Fox 13, Feb 24, 2023
A new bill making its way to the US Senate could provide more funding to states like Washington to finally clear out backlogged rape kits that have taken years to process and review. Loftis said the state has come a long way from the 12,000 kits that sat untested on evidence shelves six years ago. In November of last year, the number of kits waiting for testing and review had been cut in half to around 6,000, and this month, he said it's dropped even further.

Marysville cold case solved with assistance from Attorney General’s DNA forensic genetic genealogy program
Washington State Office of the Attorney General, Dec 5, 2022
"Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that his office’s DNA forensic genetic genealogy program has now helped solve a 24-year-old cold case from Marysville. The program is part of the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI)."

Washington state auditor reports progress made on backlog of sexual assault kits
King 5, Nov 2, 2022
"KING 5 checked with Washington State Patrol (WSP) and it said there are 4,543 new and old kits that are pending, with 60% of those historical kits which were collected before July 24, 2015. “It’s wonderful to know that these people who went in and got the rape kit done that the evidence they collected from their bodies from that crimes scene that we're actually testing it,” said Griffin."

Progress made on testing of backlogged sexual assault kits, new kits tested within 45 days
KPVI, Sep 19, 2022
"In May, a new law that requires the Washington State Crime Lab to test new sexual assault kits coming in within a 45-day period took effect. Since then, Washington State Patrol said the lab tested almost all the new kits by that deadline. Thousands of backlog kits have also been tested. "The external pressure is good," Loftis said. "Its forced us to improve our systems, its forced the legislature to provide the funding and resources." Sergeant Jake Lancaster with the Yakima Police Department said getting those kits back sooner could be key in solving some cases."

Spokane Police Department nearing completion of 1,500 untested sexual assault kits
KREM2, Jul 15, 2022
"With the help of a state grant, the Spokane Police Department is working through a back log of 1,500 untested Sexual Assault kits. Now, the department is nearing completion."

Attorney General’s Office completes project to collect lawfully owed DNA from registered sex offenders, May 10, 2022
"Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced that his office completed its project to collect DNA samples from registered sex offenders in Washington who are legally required to provide their DNA but from whom a sample has never been collected or submitted to a lab for testing. This phase of the project resulted in 372 new DNA profiles entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a nationwide database. Eight out of the 372 newly entered sex offender DNA profiles resulted in a “hit,” meaning the offender’s profile matched DNA evidence already in the database."

Man Arrested In 20-Year-Old Cold Case Rapes Using DNA, Genetic Genealogy
Megan Carpentier,, Mar 21, 2022
"Kenneth Downing, 47, was arrested on Thursday at his job site in Spokane at the behest of the police in Pullman, Washington — about 75 miles south of Spokane — the Pullman Police Department said in a statement. He is currently facing four counts of first-degree rape, three counts of assault in the second degree with a finding of sexual motivation, three counts of unlawful imprisonment, one count of indecent liberties using force and two counts of first-degree burglary, according to Whitman County Jail records. They said that they used the DNA evidence to develop a genetic profile of the attacker and, with funding received from the Washington State Attorney General's Office's Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, used a genetic genealogy company to connect the DNA from the crime scenes to Downing, KREM reported."

Local law enforcement agencies get $177K to work through sexual assault kit backlogs
FOX 13 Seattle Staff, Mar 14, 2022
"The Attorney General's Office is providing more than $177,000 in cold storage units for law enforcement agencies across the state, all to better store evidence from sexual assault investigations. According to the AG's office, 53 of the state's 260 agencies reported they need more storage for evidence. ""More storage means more evidence can be tested, and more crimes can be solved,"" Ferguson said. ""These resources will bring justice to survivors."""

Attorney General’s task force recommends reforms to improve state’s response to sexual assault
Washington State Office of the Attorney General, Dec 1, 2021
Today the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Advisory Group convened by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office released a report recommending reforms that will improve the state’s response to sexual assault.

Washington AG’s office IDs hundreds of sex offenders who failed to give up DNA
Hanna Scott, My Northwest, Aug 20, 2021
Washington AG's Office announced they have collected 345 DNA samples from eligible sex offenders who never submitted their DNA to the state and have entered them all into CODIS.

Thousands of DNA samples from Washington criminals are missing from DNA database
Olivia LaVoice, Q13 Fox Seattle, Jun 10, 2021
The AG's Office says since the launch of this mission last summer, 900 lawfully owed DNA samples have been collected. Of those, 700 have been entered into the CODIS DNA database, so far producing matches in seven unsolved cases.

Washington State Attorney General's Office, Apr 6, 2020
The Attorney General’s Office today launched a website to keep the public up to date and provide comprehensive information about Washington’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) program, part of a statewide initiative to end Washington’s rape kit backlog.

DNA Analysis Leads to Arrest of Man in 2010 Rape Case
FM News 101, Sep 5, 2019
A DNA analysis of a sexual assault kit from 2010 rape case in Vancouver has led to an arrest.

‘We’ve finally fixed the system.’ Bill to eliminate rape-kit backlog signed into law
James Drew, The News Tribune, Apr 23, 2019
Governor Inslee signs HB 1166, a bill aimed to test all previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits in Washington, and also extends the statute of limitations for prosecuting sexual assault and sets mandatory timeline for submission.

Washington State Attorney General's Office, Mar 19, 2019
Washington State AG announced an extra $750,000 in grant funding to test previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.

'Underresourced for years': Lawmakers push to speed up rape kit processing
Lynsi Burton, Seattle Pi, Feb 27, 2019
Propelled by their SAKI grant, Washington State plans to make more investments in their sexual assault kit testing process to ensure that they are all tested properly and that victims receive justice.

Sex offender arrested in 2006 rape of Seattle 12-year-old
Amy Clancy, KIRO 7, Feb 22, 2019
DNA from a previously unsubmitted sexual assault kit ed to an arrest in a 2006 sexual assault of a minor.

DNA from 2014 Seattle sexual assault matched to man already serving time for rape
Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, Jan 26, 2019
DNA from a previously unsubmitted sexual assault kit matched that of a man who was already serving time in prison for another sexual assault.

Sex assualt victims can track rape kits in online system
KING Staff, K5 News, Oct 30, 2018
A new computerized tracking system for sexual assault kits has been implemented in Washington. This new system will allow survivors of sexual assault to track the progress of their kit and potential resulting case as it moves forward.

Washington State Tries To Address Massive Rape Kit Backlog
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, WBUR 90.9, Oct 22, 2018
Washington State is looking into ways to process their more than 8,000 previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits more efficiently. They are looking at how Ohio has processed their previously unsubmitted sexual assault kit backlog for answers.

Rape Kit that Sat Untested for 11 Years Turned Up a Match
Jenn Gidman, Newser, Oct 6, 2018
DNA testing has linked a convicted rapist to the 2007 kidnapping and rape of a 14-year-old girl in Seattle, Washington.

Sex offender charged with Seattle cold case rape, was serial groping suspecy
DeeDee Sun & Casey McNerthney, KIRO 7, Sep 28, 2018
A Seattle man has been charged with child rape after his DNA was a match to a previously unsubmitted sexual assault kit from 2007. Funding from SAKI grants and legislation passed in 2015, have helped Washington state process sexual assault kits and find hits such as this one.

11 years after a rape in Seattle, DNA leads to charges against Illinois man
Sara Jean Green, Seattle Times, May 25, 2018
An Illinois man has been charged with first degree rape thanks to efforts in Washington State to test previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.

AG’s Office Wins $3m Federal Grant To Process Backlogged Sexual Assault DNA Evidence
Washington State Office of the Attorney General, Oct 4, 2017
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office received a $3 million grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative to test and investigate the untested sexual assault kits and form a multidisciplinary team.

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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.

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