A Virginia man is facing charges after a rape kit collected in 2012 was tested as part of the state's backlog project.
Dyron Williams Sr., of Spotsylvania, is accused of carnal knowledge of a minor between 13 and 15 years old, according to a release from the office of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. Williams allegedly sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl in August 2012.
Authorities say Williams, 26, is the first person to be charged as part of Herring's initiative to eliminate the commonwealth's backlog of rape kits, known in Virginia as PERK kits. PERK stands for Physical Evidence Recovery Kit.
Investigators developed a DNA profile from the 2012 kit and uploaded it to a national DNA database, which identified Williams as the source of the DNA, according to the release.
"This is why every single PERK kit needs to be tested every time, and it's why we've been working so hard to eliminate the backlog of untested kits once and for all," Herring said in the release.
Williams, who was already incarcerated at the Caroline Correctional Unit on unrelated charges, has been served with warrants for the new charges.
"I'm extremely thankful for the funding that was provided by the Attorney General's office to help with the amount of backlogged rape kits across the commonwealth that were forensically tested," Spotsylvania Sheriff Roger L. Harris said in the release.
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The effort aims to test thousands of untested PERK kits, some of which are decades old.
Herring found funding for a private lab in Northern Virginia to work through the backlog.
“We have worked really hard to get kits to the lab to get them tested, have the information uploaded into the DNA database and see if there are any matches,” Herring said.
Harris worked on a task force that helped advise Herring, and he's happy to see the effort pay off with an arrest in his community.
"I’m hopeful we’re going to get more and I’m confident that we will be able to close more cases," he said.
Herring said work on the backlog is almost done and almost 600 new profiles have been added to the DNA database.
"We can bring perpetrators to justice and we can show survivors that we are going to stand with them as they pursue justice," he said.