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DA gives update on rape kit backlog

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Bernalillo District Attorney’s Office say they have screened over half of the cases submitted to them from the rape kit backlog.

DA spokesman Michael Patrick said prosecutors have looked over 1600 of the more than 2000 cases submitted and have closed 900, without an arrest, for various reasons.

“Mostly due to the fact the statue of limitations expired,” he said in an email Thursday.

He said some of the cases, which date back to 1981, were closed due to lack of sufficient evidence or the victim died.

So far, Patrick said they have charged four people in connection to backlog cases. Prosecutors have another 50 cases “currently under investigation and being prepared for indictment.”

According to court records, Dayquan Terna, 22, Regina Gomez, 20, and Jose Gonzalez, 37, currently face rape charges but the fourth person named by Patrick has not been charged yet.

Former State Auditor Tim Keller, now the mayor of Albuquerque, in December 2016 issued a report finding that throughout New Mexico, there were about 5,400 rape kits that had been collected as evidence, but never processed. The vast majority of the cases, about 4,000, were from Albuquerque.

As mayor, Keller one year ago issued an executive order that set in motion steps to clear the backlog.