Manhattan District Attorney Cryus R. Vance Jr. has pledged $35 million to fund DNA testing in as many as 70,000 rape cases nationwide.
Many swabs, painstakingly collected, have been left untested because of the high cost of conducting DNA tests — up to $1,000 in each case — the Associated Press reports. Tests in some cases have not been done for decades.
Fresh funding for the DNA tests could finally help bring justice to thousands of women who have been raped or sexually assaulted but whose attackers were never caught.
“We want them to know that we, as a nation, are doing everything in our power to bring justice to them,” said Vance during a news conference Wednesday.
The money to fund the tests comes from the District Attorney’s share of an $8.8 billion settlement with BNP Paribas over allegations the French bank violated U.S. sanctions.