Bay Area county gets grant to reduce rape kit backlog

OAKLAND — The Alameda County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday that it has received a $1.5 million grant to reduce its backlog of unanalyzed rape kits.

District Attorney Nancy O'Malley told The Associated Press that the funding will go toward clearing the county's backlog of about 2,000 untested rape kits, some dating back several years.

The grant from the New York-based Natasha's Justice Project will pay for those kits to be tested at private labs, then reviewed at a public lab and uploaded to a national DNA database.

"I'm honored that we're working together," said O'Malley, adding that some testing already has started.

Natasha's Justice Project Founder Natasha Alexenko said Wednesday the grant is part of her nonprofit's national strategy, as Alameda County's kits are among an estimated 400,000 across the country that need to be analyzed.

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