SAKI grant funds will help Dallas County achieve its goals of completing testing on approximately 4,000 kits; taking a victim-centered approach toward victim notification that includes immediate advocacy support from the police department, district attorney's office, and local crisis centers; fully investigating and prosecuting to the fullest any viable cases that come as a result of SAK testing; and using project lessons learned to educate and provide support to other Dallas County agencies.
Funded in 2015, Dallas County has used SAKI funding to achieve several goals and milestones:
Please direct all media inquiries to:
To learn more about their progress, read below for other news and events out of Dallas County (Texas).
Sex offender arrested on murder charge after Highland Park victim dies 30 years later
Tasha Tsiaperas, Dallas News, Jun 13, 2018
DNA testing funded by SAKI leads to the arrest of a serial sexual offender for the rape and strangulation of a Dallas woman.
Serial rape suspect gets 40 years in prison after backlogged rape kits tested
Tasha Tsiaperas, Dallas News, Sep 1, 2017
A Dallas man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for the rape of a woman over a decade ago. He has also been previously accused and convicted in at least 4 other rapes. To learn more about the positive work Dallas is doing to put these criminals behind bars, read the full article.
Dallas Man jailed on new rape charge after statute of limitations expired on old case
Tasha Tsiaperas, Dallas News, Aug 10, 2017
Lee Marvin Banks has been arrested for a more recent rape, and has exonerated an innocent man who spent 12 years in jail for a rape he did not commit.
Years after her mom was killed beside her playpen, Dallas woman finds justice through Facebook
Tasha Tsiaperas, Dallas News, May 30, 2017
Thanks to the efforts of a family and SAKI funds, a woman finds justice for her mother’s rapist and murder. Victor Serrano was apprehended and charged for the 1996 murder and rape of Manuela Dominquez. To learn more about the efforts in Dallas, read the full article.
Dallas man gets life after cold case rape kit testing program leads to ID
Tanya Eiserer, WFAA, Mar 3, 2017
A Dallas man was convicted to life in prison after being linked to five sexual assault cases since 2008. This is the first conviction resulting from Dallas efforts to test evidence from unsubmitted rape kits. “I’m sure he thought that no one would ever believe them, but ladies and gentleman of the jury you can believe them,” prosecutor Amy Derrick said. Read the full story.
Rape survivor, exoneree credit testing of old DNA samples with solving cases
Naheed Rajwani, Dallas News, Dec 15, 2016
Victims of rape and unlawful imprisonment gathered together in support of a bill that would renew the federal program that gives law enforcement agencies funding to test backlogged sexual assault kits. This bill would allow Dallas, Texas police to test SAKs that were collected from 1996 to 2011. Officials noted the importance in testing SAKs, especially to catch serial perpetrators. To learn more, read the full article.
Dallas police crack mystery of woman who was raped, strangled 24 years ago
Tasha Tsiaperas, Dallas News, Nov 29, 2016
For 24 years, Dallas, Texas police had no answers as to who was responsible for the rape and murder of Shirley Baker Muhammad. Now, newly tested DNA evidence points to a 52-year-old man in prison for another victim’s rape. This is the first success from Dallas’ newly formed cold case unit within the Dallas Police Department. The cold case unit comprises a former homicide detective, two former robbery detectives, and a former crime scene analyst. The unit has been cataloging cases, many of which fall between 1995 and 2005, when crime scene analysts started keeping DNA evidence. More DNA hits are forthcoming. To learn more, read the full article.
Dallas County awarded $1,000,000 federal grant for sexual assault kit testing
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Oct 6, 2016
Dallas County, Texas has been awarded $1 million in grant funding to support a community-based approach to inventory and test backlogged, unsubmitted sexual assault kits. The funding also allows agencies to hire and assign personnel to investigate cold cases based on the results of testing the kits.
Dallas County DA's office gets $1.5 million grant to handle rape kit backlog
Dallas Morning News, Sep 1, 2015
Grant funds expansion of Dallas DA Sexual Assault Unit
WFFA, Jun 24, 2015
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.