A real turnaround: Santa Clara County clears its backlog of untested rape kits | News | Mountain View Online |


A real turnaround: Santa Clara County clears its backlog of untested rape kits


Santa Clara County has cleared its backlog of untested sexual assault and rape forensic evidence kits.

Terry Harman, an assistant district attorney who oversees the sexual assault unit that helps process the forensic evidence from sexual assault or rape cases known as a SART kit, briefed the county's Board of Supervisors on the issue during its regular Tuesday meeting in San Jose on Feb. 11.

In June 2018, the county's Board of Supervisors approved funding called for by Supervisor Cindy Chavez to process more than 200 rape kits backlogged at the county's crime lab, kits that have all now been tested and cleared.

Harman said the county used to process a kit within 94 days. And while state law calls for a 120-day turnaround for the kit, Harman said Santa Clara County, as of December, has been processing kits in 16 days.

"That's amazing," Chavez said Tuesday, which was followed by a short applause from those in the board chambers.

Harman told the board that in cases of rape or sexual assault that are "priority 1," which includes a rapist or sexual assaulter who is unknown to the victim, current policy calls for a test of that rape kit within seven days.

"For all other kits, our policy calls for them to be tested within 30 days," Harman said. "That policy has been very helpful at establishing very clear-cut guidelines for both law enforcement and (the) crime lab, and also letting the public know and letting victims of crime know what is going to happen with their SART kit."

— Bay City News Service

What is it worth to you?


There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Redwood City gets two new barbecue restaurants
By Elena Kadvany | 3 comments | 5,107 views

Flying: How to lower your impact
By Sherry Listgarten | 19 comments | 3,229 views

Premarital and Couples: Here Be Dragons!
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,641 views

My angst about the disaster of these two debates
By Diana Diamond | 28 comments | 1,587 views

Finding Your Calling
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,263 views


Short story writers wanted!

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 27, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

View Details