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Stalled DNA testing leaves Iowa rape victim in limbo while her alleged attacker remains free. She&#3

In late February, 42-year-old Gina Battani told her local police she was sexually assaulted by someone she knew.

But nearly seven months later, analysis of the evidence collected from her case has not been completed by the state crime lab — while the man she has accused walks free.

She's called at least 10 times, only to be told there is a backlog and it’s in process.

“I’ve been told to be patient,” said Battani, who lives in central Iowa.

“I have felt so insignificant — that I didn’t matter.”

Battani is far from alone. Frustrated rape victims are waiting months — or sometimes even more than a year — for Iowa's overwhelmed crime lab to process DNA evidence that is crucial to their cases, allowing their suspected attackers to avoid arrest.

Iowa, already trying to resolve a backlog of more than 4,000 untested rape evidence kits dating back to the 1990s, finds its state crime lab buried by new requests for evidence testing.

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