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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

Governor DeWine Announces Availability of Funding for Sexual Assault Kit Testing

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Andy Wilson today announced the availability of $1 million in funding to support the work of law enforcement and prosecutors to investigate and prosecute crimes of sexual assault in Ohio. 

Funds awarded through the new Ohio Sexual Assault Investigations Grant Program can be used toward drug-facilitated sexual assault toxicology testing, sexual assault kit (SAK) testing, expert testimony, SAK storage upgrades, transportation/shipping costs, sexual assault investigations training, specialized DNA analysis, and other sexual assault investigation costs.

“Those who've committed sexual assault have no place in our communities," said Governor DeWine. "The goal of this program is to help ensure that local law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to get offenders into custody as soon as possible."

The Ohio Department of Public Safety's Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) is administering the Ohio Sexual Assault Investigations Grant Program. Agencies can submit reimbursement for sexual assault investigations connected to incidents that occurred on or after July 1, 2023. 

Grant applications for the current fiscal year will be available through mid-June with additional funding slated to be released July 1, 2024. Individual grant amounts will depend on the number of qualifying entities that apply. Funding for the program was awarded by the Ohio General Assembly in the operating budget.

During his time as Ohio's attorney general, Governor DeWine led a special initiative to test evidence from thousands of previously untested rape kits submitted by local law enforcement agencies in Ohio. Between 2011 and 2018, forensic scientists at the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation analyzed nearly 14,000 old rape kits submitted by local law enforcement, resulting in the upload of more than 8,600 DNA profiles into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). At the time that testing was completed in 2018, those profiles had led to more than 5,000 DNA matches.

"This new grant program is another example of Governor DeWine's commitment to helping law enforcement get dangerous criminals off the streets," said Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Andy Wilson. "The work of investigators is critical toward stopping future attacks and getting justice for survivors."

By statute, OCJS is the lead justice planning and assistance office for the state, administering millions of dollars in state and federal criminal justice funding every year. OCJS also evaluates programs and develops technology, training, and products for criminal justice professionals and communities.


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