Connecticut gets $1.4M grant to process sex assault kits

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MERIDEN — Officials with the Connecticut forensic laboratory say up to 900 sexual assault kits are currently sitting unprocessed in the state’s police departments — some more than 20 years old.

Director Guy Vallaro told the Hartford Courant that a $1.4 million federal grant announced Thursday will help authorities process the evidence.

Vallaro says the state can now hire a coordinator and technicians to handle the testing. He says the lab has received about half the kits already and that lab workers should be able to retrieve DNA from the kits as long as they were stored properly and not contaminated.

Backlogs of unprocessed sexual assault kits have been a concern across the country. Connecticut’s lab is one of 20 in the U.S. that was given money.