Rape kit legislation headed to governor

Friday, April 10, 2015, Vol. 39, No. 15

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation that creates a protocol for the collection of sexual-assault evidence kits is headed to the governor for his consideration.

The measure was unanimously approved 32-0 in the Senate and 97-0 in the House on Monday. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam will review the proposal when it reaches his desk.

The proposal is one of at least three rape kit-related proposals sponsored by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville.

Collierville is a suburb of Memphis, which experts say has one of the nation's largest known backlogs of rape kits. Mayor A C Wharton Jr. created a task force to work through them.

Officials say more than 5,600 of 12,000 backlogged rape evidence kits have been tested in Memphis, leading to the identification of nearly three dozen alleged rapists.