by: Joe Bruno Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte is entering into a contract with a Utah company to test 300 backlogged sexual assault kits.
Charlotte City Council is set to approve a one-year, nearly $250,000 contract Monday with Sorenson Forensics LLC for the testing.
The money is provided through a 2016 National Sexual Assault Kit grant from the Department of Justice.
Sorenson Forensics will be paid $610 per tested kit and $2,200 per day of expert witness testimony. The city manager will have the option to extend the contract
up to two one-year terms.
City leaders said the new contract represents 9.4 percent cost savings per kit.
Cori Goldstein, with Safe Alliance, praised the new funding. She's thrilled that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is getting more resources to solve sex crimes.
"Anytime we have that ability to get someone off the street and potentially prevent another sexual assault is a huge asset to the community," Goldstein said.
In 2015, the Joyful Heart Foundation revealed that more than 1,000 sexual assault kits at CMPD had yet to be tested. CMPD told Channel 9 at the time that 351 were open cases and the rest were closed for a number of reasons, including the men and women involved declining charges.
CMPD did not respond to Channel 9's question asking how many kits are still in need of testing.
In 2016, CMPD said there were 276 rapes, a 4 percent increase from the 5-year average.
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