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Biden promotes $35M proposal to test rape kits

WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden says a proposed $35 million grant program will get untested rape kits off the shelves and put criminals behind bars.

The money is in the 2015 budget proposal President Barack Obama unveiled this week. Congress must approve the spending.

Biden says a federally funded pilot program in Detroit some years ago turned up numerous rapists who were then prosecuted, convicted and put away.

He says too many law enforcements agencies don’t realize what valuable information the kits contain.

Biden says it’s not known how many rape kits are waiting to be tested. Attorney General Eric Holder says the current state of affairs is “simply unacceptable.”

The grants would also pay to help develop “cold case” investigative squads and support sexual assault victims.