The Washington State Attorney General's Office (AGO) received a $3-million SAKI grant in FY2017. The grant money is currently being used to test thousands of sexual assault kits (SAKs). This first SAKI grant helped to establish a SAKI team with investigators and trained law enforcement.
In FY2019, the Bureau of Justice Assistance awarded the AGO an additional $2.5 million to continue efforts with their SAKI project. This funding is being used to review partially tested SAKs and continue testing SAKs from their inventory. Once AGO has completed their inventories, funding will be utilized to expand victim advocacy services by hiring a full-time victim advocate to support victim-centered, trauma-informed practices. The FY2019 award will also be utilized to retain current investigators dedicated to their SAKI project.
The AGO received funding in FY2019 that is also being utilized for efforts related to unsolved sexual assault casesspecifically for collecting lawfully owed DNA from offenders convicted of murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, or a felony sex crime. Currently, the AGO is finalizing their census of offenders who owe lawfully owed DNA and piloting their DNA collection plan in one county in Washington.
In FY2020, the AGO was awarded an additional $670,000 in SAKI funding to continue work from their previous SAKI awards. This funding will be utilized to purchase necessary materials for local agencies to collect lawfully owed DNA samples from identified offenders, test the samples, upload eligible DNA profiles into the Combined DNA Index System, and continue solving cases associated with previously unsubmitted SAKs.
In FY2021, the AGO received two additional awards for Purpose Area 1 and Purpose Area 3. For Purpose Area 1, the AGO received an award in the amount of $821,233. The funding will be used to continue testing and tracking unsubmitted SAK evidence; allow AGO SAKI senior iInvestigator analysts to continue assisting jurisdictions with investigating and prosecuting cases that arise from testing unsubmitted SAKs; assist local law enforcement with additional DNA testing and Fforensic Genetic Genealogy testing; and provide victim-centered, trauma-informed training across the state.
For Purpose Area 3, the AGO received an award for $983,641 to continue the collection of lawfully owed DNA samples from convicted offenders, allow for the testing and uploading of samples into the Combined DNA Index System, and aid in the investigations and prosecutions that result from uploading these offender samples. Grant funding will advance the AGO Lawfully Owed DNA Project by continuinge to fund existing personnel; the funding will also support adding another senior investigator analyst to verify the census and assist in collecting DNA samples from offenders who currently reside in the community.
For more information on the specific SAKI awards for this site, see the table below.
|FY2017||$3,000,000||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2019||$1,500,000||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2019||$1,000,000||Expansion of DNA Databases to Assist with Sexual Assault Investigations and Prosecutions: Collection of Lawfully Owed DNA from Convicted Offenders and Arrestee DNA Collections|
|FY2020||$670,000||Expansion of DNA Databases to Assist with Sexual Assault Investigations and Prosecutions: Collection of Lawfully Owed DNA from Convicted Offenders and Arrestee DNA Collections|
|FY2021||$821,233||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2021||$983,641||Expansion of DNA Databases to Assist with Sexual Assault Investigations and Prosecutions: Collection of Lawfully Owed DNA from Convicted Offenders and Arrestee DNA Collections|
Please direct all media inquiries to:
Attorney General’s Office completes project to collect lawfully owed DNA from registered sex offenders
www.atg.wa.gov, May 10, 2022
"Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced that his office completed its project to collect DNA samples from registered sex offenders in Washington who are legally required to provide their DNA but from whom a sample has never been collected or submitted to a lab for testing. This phase of the project resulted in 372 new DNA profiles entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a nationwide database. Eight out of the 372 newly entered sex offender DNA profiles resulted in a “hit,” meaning the offender’s profile matched DNA evidence already in the database."
Man Arrested In 20-Year-Old Cold Case Rapes Using DNA, Genetic Genealogy
Megan Carpentier, oxygen.com, Mar 21, 2022
"Kenneth Downing, 47, was arrested on Thursday at his job site in Spokane at the behest of the police in Pullman, Washington — about 75 miles south of Spokane — the Pullman Police Department said in a statement. He is currently facing four counts of first-degree rape, three counts of assault in the second degree with a finding of sexual motivation, three counts of unlawful imprisonment, one count of indecent liberties using force and two counts of first-degree burglary, according to Whitman County Jail records. They said that they used the DNA evidence to develop a genetic profile of the attacker and, with funding received from the Washington State Attorney General's Office's Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, used a genetic genealogy company to connect the DNA from the crime scenes to Downing, KREM reported."
Local law enforcement agencies get $177K to work through sexual assault kit backlogs
FOX 13 Seattle Staff, Mar 14, 2022
"The Attorney General's Office is providing more than $177,000 in cold storage units for law enforcement agencies across the state, all to better store evidence from sexual assault investigations. According to the AG's office, 53 of the state's 260 agencies reported they need more storage for evidence. ""More storage means more evidence can be tested, and more crimes can be solved,"" Ferguson said. ""These resources will bring justice to survivors."""
Attorney General’s task force recommends reforms to improve state’s response to sexual assault
Washington State Office of the Attorney General, Dec 1, 2021
Today the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Advisory Group convened by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office released a report recommending reforms that will improve the state’s response to sexual assault.
Washington AG’s office IDs hundreds of sex offenders who failed to give up DNA
Hanna Scott, My Northwest, Aug 20, 2021
Washington AG's Office announced they have collected 345 DNA samples from eligible sex offenders who never submitted their DNA to the state and have entered them all into CODIS.
Thousands of DNA samples from Washington criminals are missing from DNA database
Olivia LaVoice, Q13 Fox Seattle, Jun 10, 2021
The AG's Office says since the launch of this mission last summer, 900 lawfully owed DNA samples have been collected. Of those, 700 have been entered into the CODIS DNA database, so far producing matches in seven unsolved cases.
AG FERGUSON LAUNCHES WEBSITE TO TRACK THE PROGRESS OF RAPE KIT TESTING
Washington State Attorney General's Office, Apr 6, 2020
The Attorney General’s Office today launched a website to keep the public up to date and provide comprehensive information about Washington’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) program, part of a statewide initiative to end Washington’s rape kit backlog.
DNA Analysis Leads to Arrest of Man in 2010 Rape Case
FM News 101, Sep 5, 2019
A DNA analysis of a sexual assault kit from 2010 rape case in Vancouver has led to an arrest.
‘We’ve finally fixed the system.’ Bill to eliminate rape-kit backlog signed into law
James Drew, The News Tribune, Apr 23, 2019
Governor Inslee signs HB 1166, a bill aimed to test all previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits in Washington, and also extends the statute of limitations for prosecuting sexual assault and sets mandatory timeline for submission.
AG FERGUSON COMMITS $750,000 TO TEST SEXUAL ASSAULT KITS
Washington State Attorney General's Office, Mar 19, 2019
Washington State AG announced an extra $750,000 in grant funding to test previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
'Underresourced for years': Lawmakers push to speed up rape kit processing
Lynsi Burton, Seattle Pi, Feb 27, 2019
Propelled by their SAKI grant, Washington State plans to make more investments in their sexual assault kit testing process to ensure that they are all tested properly and that victims receive justice.
Sex offender arrested in 2006 rape of Seattle 12-year-old
Amy Clancy, KIRO 7, Feb 22, 2019
DNA from a previously unsubmitted sexual assault kit ed to an arrest in a 2006 sexual assault of a minor.
DNA from 2014 Seattle sexual assault matched to man already serving time for rape
Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, Jan 26, 2019
DNA from a previously unsubmitted sexual assault kit matched that of a man who was already serving time in prison for another sexual assault.
Sex assualt victims can track rape kits in online system
KING Staff, K5 News, Oct 30, 2018
A new computerized tracking system for sexual assault kits has been implemented in Washington. This new system will allow survivors of sexual assault to track the progress of their kit and potential resulting case as it moves forward.
Washington State Tries To Address Massive Rape Kit Backlog
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, WBUR 90.9, Oct 22, 2018
Washington State is looking into ways to process their more than 8,000 previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits more efficiently. They are looking at how Ohio has processed their previously unsubmitted sexual assault kit backlog for answers.
Rape Kit that Sat Untested for 11 Years Turned Up a Match
Jenn Gidman, Newser, Oct 6, 2018
DNA testing has linked a convicted rapist to the 2007 kidnapping and rape of a 14-year-old girl in Seattle, Washington.
Sex offender charged with Seattle cold case rape, was serial groping suspecy
DeeDee Sun & Casey McNerthney, KIRO 7, Sep 28, 2018
A Seattle man has been charged with child rape after his DNA was a match to a previously unsubmitted sexual assault kit from 2007. Funding from SAKI grants and legislation passed in 2015, have helped Washington state process sexual assault kits and find hits such as this one.
11 years after a rape in Seattle, DNA leads to charges against Illinois man
Sara Jean Green, Seattle Times, May 25, 2018
An Illinois man has been charged with first degree rape thanks to efforts in Washington State to test previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
AG’s Office Wins $3m Federal Grant To Process Backlogged Sexual Assault DNA Evidence
Washington State Office of the Attorney General, Oct 4, 2017
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office received a $3 million grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative to test and investigate the untested sexual assault kits and form a multidisciplinary team.
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.