Orange County District Attorney’s Office clears 30-year backlog of untested rape kits
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has cleared a 30-year backlog of untested sexual assault kits, leading to criminal charges in six cold cases and hundreds of new DNA profiles being uploaded to law enforcement databases.
One of those rape kits led to a conviction for Michael Ray Armijo, who posed as a police officer and kidnapped a couple on April 4, 1993, sexually assaulted the woman, then took their wallets and threatened to kill them, according to the DA’s Office. Armijo was not charged with rape due to the statute of limitations, but he was instead convicted last year of two felony counts of kidnap to commit robbery and enhancements for the personal use of a firearm. He is now serving a maximum sentence of 24 years to life in prison.
The rape kit in that case was one of thousands of untested kits inventoried by OC SAFE, an effort from the DA’s Office to inventory thousands of untested sexual assault kits from all over Orange County.
Orange County officials had been working to clear the backlog of untested sexual assault kits and used a $1.86 million grant from the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative to establish OC SAFE. In July of 2020, the District Attorney’s Office received an additional $328,305 in grants from the California Department of Justice to contract with Bode Technology and help clear Orange County Crime Lab’s backlog. Bode completed its final test last Friday, according to the DA’s Office.
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