White House, NYC prosecutor pledge $79M to test rape kits

NEW YORK (AP) — The White House and New York City's district attorney have pledged a combined $79 million to test rape kits across the country.

The White House says Thursday that $41 million in federal funds plus $38 million from the Manhattan prosecutor will go toward clearing backlogs in 27 states.

Local law enforcement agencies applied for the grants. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is using corporate forfeiture funds toward the effort.

Vance and Vice President Joe Biden say the local authorities who will receive funds include the Travis County Sheriff's Office in Texas and the Georgia State Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

It's estimated that tens of thousands of DNA samples taken after sexual assaults have gone untested. Some cities have turned to private donations to raise money to clear the backlogs.