White House, NYC prosecutor pledge $79M to test sexual assault kits, cut backlogs across US

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The White House and New York City's district attorney have pledged a combined $79 million to test sexual assault 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 are to announce the local authorities receiving funds at a news conference at the New York City medical examiner's office.

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