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Beshear announces research project for rape kit backlog

Researchers at the University of Louisville will monitor Kentucky's quest to rid itself of a backlog of untested rape kits and offer recommendations on how to avoid such logjams in the future.

<p>Andy Beshear</p>

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Researchers at the University of Louisville will monitor Kentucky's quest to rid itself of a backlog of untested rape kits and offer recommendations on how to avoid such logjams in the future.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear announced the project Thursday during a news conference in the Kentucky Capitol. He was joined by Bradley Campbell, an assistant professor at UofL's Department of Criminal Justice.

A 2015 audit revealed Kentucky had more than 3,000 untested rape kits, collections of physical evidence from victims after a sexual assault. Police check that evidence against a national database of DNA profiles to look for suspects.

In 2016, the state legislature approved spending $4.5 million to alleviate the backlog. The money came from a lawsuit settlement against Johnson & Johnson that the attorney general's office negotiated.