Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced this week that Montana’s Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System has been completed and will be used starting September 1 by sexual assault survivors, healthcare professionals and law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

Fox describes how the tracking system will work.

“Every sexual assault kit that a victim submits to law enforcement and reports a crime, each of those kits will now be tested no matter what,” Fox said. “Even those who do not want to report a crime, their kit will be sent to the State Crime Lab in Missoula, and we will store the kit for a year, in case they decide they want to pursue criminal charges. Part of all of that process is to have a system to track this.”

Fox said initially, all the testing and tracking was done manually.

“We have worked with the vendor who provides these kits and we asked them to put bar codes on them, and then we developed a software program that’s internet based, confidential and is password protected so that law enforcement, healthcare providers and sexual assault survivors can access the system,” he said. “That kit tracking system will go live on September 1st. The bill that we sponsored before the legislature provided the funding for all the resources that we need, and we’re excited for the system to get up and running.”

Fox shared a recent success story that was developed from a sexual assault kit that brought a perpetrator to justice.

“One of the kits that came from the sexual assault test kit initiative that I started that was uploaded to the national database called CODIS resulted in a match in a cold case in Cascade County,” he said. An individual there had raped someone and they were unable to identify the suspect, but when we got the match we were able to identify him and he was charged just a few weeks ago with sexual assault, and we will make sure that he is tried. I want to thank the Great Falls Police Department and the cascade County Attorney’s office for all the work they’ve done.”

The information contained in the Montana Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System is confidential and not subject to public disclosure.

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