Terry Harman, an assistant district attorney who oversees the sexual assault unit that helps process the forensic evidence from sexual assault or rape cases known as a SART kit, briefed the county's Board of Supervisors on the issue during its regular Tuesday meeting in San Jose on Feb. 11.
In June 2018, the county's Board of Supervisors approved funding called for by Supervisor Cindy Chavez to process more than 200 rape kits backlogged at the county's crime lab, kits that have all now been tested and cleared.
Harman said the county used to process a kit within 94 days. And while state law calls for a 120-day turnaround for the kit, Harman said Santa Clara County, as of December, has been processing kits in 16 days.
"That's amazing," Chavez said Tuesday, which was followed by a short applause from those in the board chambers.
Harman told the board that in cases of rape or sexual assault that are "priority 1," which includes a rapist or sexual assaulter who is unknown to the victim, current policy calls for a test of that rape kit within seven days.
"For all other kits, our policy calls for them to be tested within 30 days," Harman said. "That policy has been very helpful at establishing very clear-cut guidelines for both law enforcement and (the) crime lab, and also letting the public know and letting victims of crime know what is going to happen with their SART kit."
Utility pole fire
A transformer attached to a utility pole caught fire in Mountain View on Tuesday afternoon, causing several small grass fires as well as a power outage that left people stranded in elevators at two properties nearby, the city's fire department said.
Crews responded at 4:07 p.m. to a 911 call about a transformer explosion and multiple grass fires in the 600 block of North Whisman Road.
They arrived within minutes and found six small grass fires and a downed power line. Crews closed North Whisman Road in the area and extinguished the fires.
The Fire Department also received reports about people trapped in elevators at the two properties, and PG&E was able to restore power to those buildings and free the people inside, fire officials said.
No injuries were reported from the fires and the scene was turned over to PG&E to fully restore service to its customers in the area.
—Bay City News Service
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