Attorney General Ford Announces Completion of Statewide Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative

December 31, 2020


7,814 Tests Completed, Resulting in 64 Arrests

Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford announced that Nevada’s sexual assault kit testing initiative has concluded, with all previously backlogged sexual assault kits from prior to 2016 having completed forensic testing. Recently, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Laboratory completed testing on over 1,100 kits from northern Nevada. This milestone, along with the completion of testing southern Nevada kits from earlier this year brings the goal of testing all previously untested sexual assault kit in the state of Nevada to a close.  

In 2015, Nevada’s Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Working Group was established to eliminate the decades-in-the-making backlog, develop policies and protocols relating to the response to sexual assault, introduce legislation and enhance Nevada’s resources for investigation, prosecution and victim services. Over the years, the Working Group has expanded to include representatives from law enforcement, prosecution, forensic laboratories, victim services, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, the domestic violence and sexual assault dual coalition, researchers, bipartisan members of the Legislature and other stakeholders.  

Victim outreach and services, investigations, arrests and prosecutions remain ongoing, results of this initiative thus far are as follows:

Kits Inventoried                  DNA Matches            Arrests Made         Issued Warrants





 “As law enforcement, there is perhaps nothing more important than helping our vulnerable communities and providing them with the support and resources they need to move forward,” said Attorney General Aaron D. Ford. “Now, every Nevadan impacted by the state’s sexual assault kit backlog can rest easy knowing that their results are in-hand and that law enforcement stands ready to assist should they decide to pursue justice. My office has long been a champion for these survivors and we are a proud to be a part of this critical moment in our state’s history.”

“This year, my office was awarded a 2020 Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant, making my office the only Attorney General’s Office in the country to be awarded six consecutive sexual assault kit grants since the inception of the program,” continued AG Ford.

“This is a major milestone that has been years in the making,” said Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam. “The scientists in our Forensic Science Division have been working tirelessly, especially throughout this past year, to create a new workflow and find efficiencies. Specifically, our Forensic Biology Unit scientists who, because of their dedication and knowledge, have increased productivity 100% in 10 months. I am incredibly proud of their hard work and commitment to achieving this goal. We also couldn’t have reached this milestone without the support of the Attorney General’s Office.”

Since 2015, the State of Nevada has allocated nearly $15 million towards this initiative, including $3.68 pledged by the Attorney General’s Office, $3 million pledged by the Nevada Legislature and approximately $8 million secured through grant funding by the Department of Justice. In 2017, the Nevada Legislature passed Assembly Bill 97, which mandated that the attorney general help establish a statewide program to track sexual assault kits and report its progress. In June 2019, the tracking system went live through Nevada’s Department of Public Safety. Now, survivors of sexual assault can track dates and milestones from the time that they report a sexual assault, to the retrieval of the kit by law enforcement, the testing of the kit, availability of test results, Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) entry/hits, law enforcement investigation review and results, and prosecution review and results.

To learn more about Nevada’s sexual assault kit backlog and resources available to survivors, visit our statewide sexual assault website which is updated at the beginning of every month:

Watch AG Ford's message to survivors and community below.