State Police complete ‘Section 20’ sexual assault evidence a year ahead of schedule
Online Staff Report
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois State Police (ISP) officials announced Dec. 18 that forensic analysis of sexual assault cases submitted under Section 20 of the Sexual Assault Evidence Submission Act (PA 96-1011) has been completed ahead of schedule.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed a law in 2010 (PA96-1011) changing how law enforcement agencies address the submission of sexual assault evidence to forensic laboratories for analysis.
Under Section 20 of the Act, all law enforcement agencies were required to submit for analysis all criminal sexual assault cases in their possession that had not previously been submitted to a forensic laboratory.
The act required ISP to submit a plan by Feb. 15, 2011, to address the analysis of the “Section 20” cases, and to include a timeline and resources necessary for analysis.
The ISP plan estimated that more than 4,000 “Section 20” cases, some dating back to 1978, had not been analyzed and were expected to be submitted. The initiative was projected to be completed by the end of 2014.
The ISP and the Attorney General’s Office have worked cooperatively with law enforcement agencies to promote compliance with reporting and submitting these cases for analysis. Since agencies began submitting these “Section 20” cases to ISP in early 2011, the ISP laboratories received a total of 4,138 “Section 20” cases.
In an effort to analyze the older “Section 20” and address the current cases, ISP determined that outsourcing was necessary. A total of 3,513 “Section 20” cases were outsourced, 529 cases were analyzed at ISP laboratories, and 96 cases were canceled for administrative reasons. To date, ISP reports that DNA profiles developed from “Section 20” cases have resulted in 927 matches to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). All forensic results, including CODIS information, have been reported to the investigating agency. It is each agency’s responsibility to determine the significance of the forensic information to the investigation and if any further action is required.
The ISP Section 20 project was completed Nov. 13, 2013, more than one year ahead of the schedule outlined in the original ISP plan. Both the original 2011 ISP plan to analyze the “Section 20” cases and the 2013 final report of that initiative can be found at the Illinois State Police website at http://www.isp.state.il.us/.
Posted Dec. 18, 2013