Law enforcement officials say it will take several years to fully clear Missouri’s backlog of untested rape kits.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said on Wednesday he has named former Jasper County Judge Keithley Williams as the coordinator for his office’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the project is funded by a $2.8 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Schmitt says the kits are not numbers and are not footnotes to the reporting of the crime. He says they represent real human beings who have suffered and confronted their fears, reporting the sexual assault. He says they deserve more than having a kit sitting untested.

An audit conducted by then-Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office last year found 5,424 untested rape kits in Missouri.

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