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With thousands of rape kits untested, Iowa will implement a new tracking, reporting system

Iowa is launching a new tracking and reporting system for evidence kits collected from sexual assault victims, in an effort to address the thousands of kits that have gone untested for years and aid victims, law enforcement and medical professionals.

The Iowa Attorney General's Office announced the new system, to be launched July 1, 2020, in a news release Tuesday. The state received a $796,985 grant to implement the software that will help victims track the status of their kit.

The state has been working through untested rape kits, and officials said that matches have been found for half of the DNA profiles entered into an FBI database.

"It helps increase transparency and accountability between victims of sexual assault, law enforcement and medical professionals," said Matty Tate-Smith, communications specialist with the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault. "Anytime we can do that, that's a step in the right direction."

The Attorney General's Office chose STACS DNA, a software company that has implemented a sexual assault kit tracking software in six other states, according to the news release. It will follow a case from the first time it is given to a medical facility until the final disposition.

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