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Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) GranteeAlaska Department of Public Safety

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In FY2016, SAKI awarded the Alaska Department of Public Safety (AK-SAKI) a $1.1-million grant, which was used to process over 1,000 sexual assault kits (SAKs). The AK-SAKI team also used the funds to designate a cold case investigator and prosecuting attorney, as well as to form a multidisciplinary team to address policy change and ensure law enforcement utilizes a victim-centered approach.

AK-SAKI received an additional $443,000 in funding in FY2017, which was used to test more than 50 unsubmitted SAKs from the previous year. This latest round of funding will also help with creating the AK-SAKI research project, which will provide statistical and methodological analyses to improve the understanding of police officers' frontline practices.

For more information on the specific SAKI awards for this site, see the table below.

Alaska Department of Public Safety Funding

Year Amount Purpose Area
FY2016 $1,090,450 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
FY2017 $443,727 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits

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News and Events

Alaska's Sexual Assault Kit Tracking Software goes live statewide
KINY Radio, Jul 26, 2023
"The Alaska Department of Public Safety’s Sex Assault Kit Tracking System recently went live statewide enabling survivors of sexual assault to track the status of their kit securely online. Victims now have access to a portal for the tracking system which allows them to track the progress of their kit in the least invasive and traumatic way."

Convicted sex offender indicted for 2005 Cold Case, May 2, 2023
"Today (April 19, 2023) an Anchorage grand jury indicted 55-year-old Guy Allan Nelson is charged with sexually assaulting a 34-year-old woman in a vehicle off the Glenn Highway in July 2005. Investigative efforts to identify a suspect in 2005 were unsuccessful and the case went cold. In 2022, the sexual assault kit collected in the case was tested as part of the Capital Project, a State-funded initiative to test and analyze all untested sexual assault kits collected by 47 police departments statewide. The kit results identified a potential suspect through a DNA match."

Teen was sexually assaulted 28 years ago in Alaska, officials say. DNA leads to arrest
The Bharat Express News, Apr 7, 2023
"Nearly three decades after a 17-year-old girl was sexually assaulted behind a restaurant, a man has been charged and arrested, Alaska officials said. Ronald Wade Fischer, 51, was charged March 30 with first-degree sexual assault, the state attorney general’s office said in a press release shared April 6 by the Anchorage Police Department. Officials said the sexual assault kit from the case was not tested until 2020 through a “state-funded initiative”."

The Alaska Crime Lab reduces time needed to test sexual assault kits
Daily News-Miner, Feb 19, 2023
The trauma for a victim of sexual assault increases when that person experiences delay after delay in obtaining DNA test results from a Sexual Assault Kit (SAK). That’s why the News-Miner applauds the news that the Alaska Crime Lab (ALC) reports only a minute number of untested SAKs. In fact, ACL reports it has reduced untested kits 98% since 2017.

Report shows Alaska has almost eliminated its backlog of untested sexual assault evidence
Frontiersman, Jan 12, 2023
"Alaska’s backlog of untested sexual assault examination kits has all but disappeared after a five-year, multimillion-dollar effort, according to a report that will be formally presented to the Alaska Legislature on Tuesday. The state also spent millions of dollars to reduce the backlog by consolidating the untested kits at the state’s crime lab and expanding the lab’s capacity. That effort worked, the new report says. In 2020, it took an average of 246 days for a kit to be tested. Now, the average delay is 70 days."

Governor: Backlog cleared of sexual assault kit tests in Alaska
KINY Radio, Dec 12, 2021
Governor Dunleavy announced that the backlog of untested sexual assault examination kits, which began compiling in the mid-1990s, has been cleared.

Alaska to Increase DNA Collecting Efforts to help Law Enforcement
KINY News Staff, Aug 12, 2021
The Governor of Alaska directed the State Public Safety and Corrections Departments to immediately collect 100% of the DNA owed in all authorized cases going forward and to collect DNA from another 20,022 offenders who owe the state a sample of their DNA under state law.

Newly-tested DNA sample led to arrest in 1993 rape case, Ketchikan police say
Eric Stone, KRBD-Ketchikan, Jul 1, 2021
Ketchikan police have made an arrest in a 28-year-old rape case. Police credit a recent push to end Alaska’s sexual assault kit backlog with identifying the suspect.

Sterling man sentenced to 37 years in Alaska cold-case kidnapping and rape
Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, Mar 25, 2021
A Sterling man was sentenced this week to 37 years in prison for kidnapping and raping a woman 20 years ago in a case that hinged on long-delayed testing of DNA evidence in a police sexual assault kit.

DPS Receives Grant to Acquire Sex Assault Kit Tracking Software
Alaska DPS Press Release, Nov 14, 2020
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) was awarded the SAFE-ITR this month from BJA to begin the process of implementing a program to track SAK testing. The grant provides $998,791 to the state over the next three years and will go toward the cost of software as well as two positions to manage the tracking program.

Sterling man convicted for 2001 kidnapping, sexual assault
Brian Mazurek, Peninsula Clarion, Nov 6, 2020
DNA from a previously unsubmitted SAK leads to conviction in case from 2001. “We owe it to every survivor to never give up, and make sure every possible piece of evidence or lead is tracked down,” Alaska’s Department of Public Safety Commissioner Amanda Price said in the press release.Deputy Attorney General John Skidmore also praised the survivor’s perseverance after not seeing justice for nearly 20 years. “She survived the sexual assault, she survived the two decades wait for the big break in the case, then survived the rigors of being cross examined as victim in a sexual assault case — something none of us would ever want to experience."

DPS Publishes Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Interim Report
Megan Peters, Alaska Native News, Jul 24, 2020
Alaska DPS published their SAKI Interim Report for the public to view. The report details their progress thus far in their SAKI project.

Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Training Aims to Educate, Ease Backlogs
Timothy Despain, Alaska Native News, Feb 18, 2020
Alaska SAKI completed a statewide training. Colonel Bryan Barlow of the Alaska State Troopers stated, “We owe it to the survivors of these crimes to investigate and follow through on all reported sexual assaults. The SAKI best practices classes are critical to closing the loop on justice and providing closure to survivors across Alaska.”

Man arrested in Philippines after DNA ties him to Alaska sexual assault
Bryan Dunagan, KTVA, Sep 6, 2019
The Alaska State Troopers, with the help of the U.S. Marshals Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force, have arrested a man in the Philippines after a DNA link to a sexual assault in Alaska 18 years ago.

UAA researcher studying sexual assault reporting process in Alaska
Liz Raines, KTVA, Jul 1, 2019
Researcher Ingrid Johnson is looking for individuals to participate in her study to inform policy for handling sexual assault in Alaska.

DPS: Sexual Assault Kit Initiative to help improve testing procedures, accountability
Beth Verge, 2 KTUU, Jun 14, 2019
The Alaska SAKI site is taking what they have learned through reviewing their unsubmitted sexual assault kits and applying it to all aspects of their sexual assault investigations.

UAA seeks sexual assault victims for new study
Lauren Maxwell, KTVA, Apr 17, 2019
Researchers from the University of Alaska-Anchorage are collaborating with the Alaska SAKI site to better understand how sexual assault victims feel about their investigation and their perceptions of justice in Alaska.

Study looks into sexual assault justice
Shady Grove Oliver, The Arctic Sounder, Mar 1, 2019
The University of Alaska Justice Center is partnering with Alaska SAKI to research law enforcement's response to sexual assault survivors and the outcomes sexual assault survivors face in the justice system.

The evidence from their sexual assault is not languishing in a room somewhere' - a rape kit update from the state
Rebecca Palsha, KTUU 2, Jan 25, 2019
The Alaska Department of Public Safety has used SAKI funding to test 400 of their 600 previously unsubmitted kits and 50 DNA profiles that were eligible, have been uploaded to CODIS.

Governor signs sexual assault bill
Makayla Clark, KTVA, Jun 29, 2018
Governor Bill Walker signed a bill into law requiring untested SAKs be reported yearly, reporting of sexual assault to be victim centered, and requires police academies to have 12 hours of sexual assault training.

Alaska to receive federal grant to process over 1000 untested sexual assault kits
Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media, Oct 4, 2016
Governor Bill Walker announced in 2016 that Alaska will receive $1.1 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice to process over 1,000 sexual assault evidence kits. The funding will cover SAK testing costs, as well as pay for investigators and prosecutors to process the cold cases. To learn more, read the full article.

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Our Mission

Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative aims to create a coordinated community response that ensures just resolution to sexual assault cases. Through this program, funding is provided to support multidisciplinary community response teams engaged in the comprehensive reform of jurisdictions approaches to sexual assault cases resulting from evidence found in previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.

This Web site is funded in whole or in part through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this Web site (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).

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