System would improve sexual assault evidence monitoring

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP)   Sexual assault evidence kits would be tracked through a statewide system under proposed legislation.

The Columbia Missourian reports that Republican Sen. Jeanie Riddle, of Mokane, discussed the legislation in a judiciary hearing Monday. She says the bill would update tracking abilities for sexual assault kits to "provide more real-time information, to help reduce the backlog of untested kits and prevent future sexual assault."

A Missourian investigation found last fall found that no agency in Missouri knows how many untested sexual assault and rape kits exist in the state. Attorney General Josh Hawley later announced he would conduct a statewide audit.

The head of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence spoke in support of the bill. It's expected to cost from $1 million to $2 million the first year.

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