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NYS Comptroller audit finds NYSP crime lab failed to process sex assault evidence in a timely manner

The kits are provided to hospitals and other health care providers to collect DNA and other evidence during the physical exam of a sexual assault victim.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York State Comptroller's audit has found that the New York State Police Crime Laboratory System failed to process 88% of sexual offense evidence in a timely manner. 

According to the audit, from November 28, 2017-October 31, 2019, the Forensic Investigation Center (FIC) processed 1,656 kits. Only 356 of those kits were completed within the time frame the law allows. 

As of October 31, 2019, the FIC had 1,916 kits that needed to be processed, but the time elapsed on 1,681 of those kits or 88%.

The kits are provided to hospitals and other health care providers to collect DNA and other evidence during the physical exam of a sexual assault victim. 

The law requires all law enforcement agencies to submit any untested kits in their possession to a forensic laboratory to be processed within a certain number of days. If the kits were dated after February 26, 2017, the kit had to be processed and reported within 90 days of receipt. 

The audit states the FIC has since dedicated time and resources, including hiring, to meet the requirements. They also streamlined the method used to lessen the time required to analyze the kits.

You can read the audit here, as well as the agency's full response to the audit.