Feds hope new funding will reduce rape kit backlog in Md., across nation

Sexual assault evidence collection kit held in hand. (AP Photo)

PIKESVILLE, Md. (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden says $41 million in federal funds approved by Congress will help clear rape kit backlogs across the country and solve crimes.

Along with Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Biden toured a Maryland State Police forensic laboratory in Pikesville on Monday and addressed the importance of clearing the backlog of an estimated 400,000 rape kits that remain untested throughout the U.S.

Biden said the federal funding will help local and state law enforcement agencies test the kits and train personnel.

If the kits can be tested, he said, "more crimes will be solved, more crimes will be prevented and more women will be given back their lives."

Sen. Ben Cardin and Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, both of Maryland, also joined Biden at the laboratory.

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