RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina government’s top lawyer says a new tracking system for pending sexual assault evidence kits and new funds toward completing untested kits sitting in local law enforcement agencies will help bring victims justice.

Attorney General Josh Stein announced the new tracking system Thursday at the State Crime Lab. It will provide real-time updates for authorities, attorneys and victims themselves.

Stein’s office says a $2 million federal grant will help reduce the 15,000 untested kits in existence. The money also will go toward ensuring all kits have barcodes and training sexual assault investigators.

The General Assembly approved the tracking system’s creation and a committee to study prioritizing work on the untested kits — both recommended by Stein. He’s said it would cost about $10 million to test the entire backlog.

A new state law required all law enforcement agencies to report their numbers of untested rape kits to the State Crime Lab earlier this year, and 92 percent of the 563 agencies responded.

The audit divided the kits into five categories: anonymous victim who didn’t go to law enforcement (390); kit is tied to a case settled in court (2,741); suspect admitted to the crime (1,054); unfounded allegations (3,820); and a catchall category for other kits (7,545) for a total of 15,160.

The audit shows Moore County had 25 untested sexual assault kits in 2017 with the untested kits being from cases that were resolved in court, the suspect admitted guilt, or the allegations were unfounded, according to a report released by Stein’s Office in March.

Southern Pines Police Department had the most untested kits at 14 with six of those cases resolved in court, six kits were unfounded allegations, and two kits were listed as “others”.

Robbins Police Department had four untested kits because of unfounded allegation. Moore County Sheriff’s Office was listed at two untested kits with one case resolved in court and one suspect admission.

Taylortown Police Department had two untested kits with one kit tied to being resolved in court and the second kit listed as “other”.

Aberdeen Police Department had one untested kit listed as unfounded allegation.

Carthage Police Department had one untested kit with it being a suspect admission.  Pinehurst Police Department has one untested kit as unfounded allegation.

Pinebluff, Vass, Whispering Pines, Moore County Schools, and Sandhills Community College all had zero untested kits.

Cameron and Foxfire Police Departments was listed as “no response”.

To view the full report, please click here.

Photo credit/wnyc.org.

This article was written with the help of the Associated Press.

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