LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says it has assigned nearly 5,000 DNA evidence kits from rape and sexual assault cases to outside labs for testing, putting the department on track to meet its goal of clearing a big backlog.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore tells the Los Angeles Times the 4,763 kits still need to be tested and processed but expects they will be finished by the June 2011 target date.

The Board of Supervisors had pressed the department to eliminate the backlog when it was revealed two years ago, and offered to help pay for tests out of other county funds.

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky says the problem was caused by a poor monitoring system, and the department can institute new methods when the backlog is cleared.  

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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