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Salt Lake City rape data goes online

Published June 3, 2014 5:43 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As promised in April by Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank, the police department on Tuesday began posting information online about the investigation into 625 rape cases.

Details are about the first 20 cases — which protect the identity of the victims — is posted at: http://slcpd.com/slcpd-code-r-kits-project/

The"Code R Kits" project is an effort to review every sexual assault evidence kit in the custody of the Salt Lake City Police Department that has not been taken to the state crime lab for DNA analysis and report to the public on the status of each case, according to a police news release.

Code R kit is the term used to describe evidence collected by a sexual assault nurse examiner, a forensic nurse who examines victims of sexual assault.

Burbank assigned four detectives who have sexual assault investigations experience to review the cases where a Code R kit was not sent to the state crime lab for DNA analysis.

The oldest kit to be reviewed dates back to 1987, since which time statutes and technology have changed dramatically.

The Code R Kits project detectives will review each case to report why DNA analysis was not performed.

Those results will be posted to the SLCPD website monthly until every case has been reviewed.

If it is found that new evidence is obtained through this review, cases will be followed up accordingly.

"This is unprecedented transparency so you can see how the cases are investigated," Burbank told City Council members in April. "You will see the reasons why the evidence is processed or not."

The unveiling of the transparency project came the day after a heated City Council work session in which Councilman Kyle LaMalfa asked the chief why so many of the rape kits had not been processed.