KENTUCKY (KFVS) - Attorney General Andy Beshear plans to host a three-day sexual assault cold case training for law enforcement, prosecutors and victim advocates across the state related to Kentucky's Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence kit, or SAFE kit backlog.
The free training will run from April 11 through April 13 at the Embassy Suites in Lexington.
It will feature local trainers and national experts from the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Training and Technical Assistance (SAKI TTA) and Aequitas: the Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women.
Beshear is offering the training in response to a request by prosecutors for skills to effectively prosecute cases from the backlog. Beshear's office has been partnering with lawmakers, law enforcement and advocates to end the SAFE kit backlog since last spring when Senate Bill 63 was passed that directed the 3,000-plus untested kits to be tested.
"The ongoing trainings by the Attorney General's office will ensure that everyone working to end this backlog has the resources and support they need to seek and get justice for the victims," Beshear said. "While kits are returning to law enforcement statewide, a major focus for investigators and prosecutors is pre-planning of investigations and prosecutions with special attention to the challenges posed by cold cases."
The upcoming training will focus on investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cold cases, and is another step the Office of the Attorney General is taking to help sexual assault victims receive justice.
"This training will be invaluable to prosecutors across the Commonwealth in seeking justice for victims who have waited far too long," Chris Cohron, Warren County Commonwealth's Attorney, said.
The Office of the Attorney General is also partnering with the University of Louisville to conduct research to determine the underlying causes of the backlog and prevent its reoccurrence.