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Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) GranteeCounty of Ventura (California)

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The Ventura County Sheriff's Office Forensic Sciences Bureau (FSB), in partnership with the Ventura County District Attorney's Office and six local law enforcement agencies, received FY2021 funding in the amount of $2,498,907 to assist in testing approximately 1,000 sexual assault kits (SAKs). In addition to using FY2021 funding for SAK testing, FSB will also form a multidisciplinary working group to develop policies for inventorying, prioritizing, and testing all unsubmitted SAKs. Members of the working group will include law enforcement agents, prosecutors, a sexual assault nurse examiner, victim advocates, and victim treatment providers. A Project Implementation Team will also be formed to investigate and prosecute cases using a victim-centered approach.

In FY2023, SAKI awarded the County of Ventura $2.5 million to advance Ventura County's Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (VCSAKI). FSB in partnership with the Ventura County District Attorney's Office and all seven local law enforcement agencies in Ventura County will further the goals of testing every unsubmitted SAK and providing closure to as many victims of cold case sexual assaults as is possible. After conducting an exhaustive inventory process, the FSB and law enforcement agencies have determined that they are in possession of more than 2,900 unsubmitted SAKs. The award will fund additional SAK testing using a contracted private laboratory, as well as add an additional forensic scientist to VCSAKI, which will boost the FSB's ability to process SAKs for outsourced testing and upload suspected offender profiles generated to the Combined DNA Index System. Additionally, funding will allow for the addition of another investigator to VCSAKI.

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

County of Ventura Funding

Year Amount Purpose Area
FY2021 $2,498,907 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
FY2023 $2,500,000 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
County of Ventura (California) Grantee Site Representatives

News and Events

Woodland Hills Man Convicted of Serial Assaults on Hikers & Sleeping Victims
Ventura County District Attorney, May 8, 2024
"Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced today that Edgar Rodriguez Ruelas (DOB 03/24/82), of Woodland Hills, was convicted by a jury on May 2, 2024, of five felony counts related to assaults on women in their homes or on hiking trails, in Thousand Oaks, and Oak Park. Senior Deputy District Attorney Brent Nibecker, who is assigned to handle cold case sexual assaults, prosecuted the case. Funding for Mr. Nibecker’s position is provided through a Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant from the U.S. Department of Justice."

Ventura County Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Receives Second $2.5 Million Grant
Ventura County Sheriff's Office,, Oct 31, 2023
“This new award provides additional momentum for VCSAKI,” said Sheriff Fryhoff. “We thank the Department of Justice for helping provide us with the resources we need to bring justice to as many victims as we can.”

Finding answers for rape survivors: Initiative targets decades-old assault-kit backlog, Jun 24, 2023
"For Senior Deputy District Attorney Brent Nibecker, analyzing every one of Ventura County’s backlogged sexual assault kits is the right thing to do. With that in mind, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office’s forensic services bureau recently submitted the first 100 of an estimated 3,000 backlogged kits to a lab for analysis. The Ventura County sexual assault kit initiative, funded by a $2.5-million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, is a multi-agency effort to submit all untested kits for DNA testing, investigate unsolved cases and prosecute offenders. June 1 marked the launch of the project’s website,, where the community can track the county’s progress."

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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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