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AM Update: Senator Seeks to Speed Rape Kit Tests, DPS Officers Charged in Assault, Dewhurst Vs. Cruz

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Senator Looks to Speed Rape Kit Testing

State Senator Wendy Davis wants Texas law enforcement agencies to get more proactive about testing rape kits, says the Texas Tribune. The Tribune writes:

In a memo sent to law enforcement agencies on Tuesday, Davis urged them to comply, saying it was necessary to give the Legislature a "clear understanding of the size of the backlog" so that lawmakers can determine how much money needs to be spent clearing it. 

Davis’ Senate Bill 1636, passed last legislative session, called to “create a timeline and structure for the collection and testing of sexual assault evidence,” and require agencies to keep a list of active sexual assault cases in the testing pipeline.

The backlog of untested rape kits is a national issue. The Senate Committee Report accompanying SB  1636 writes a 2009 CBS News investigation found over 20,000 untested kits nationwide.

A federal bill supporting expedited testing of rape kits was introduced to the U.S. Senate last week by U.S. Senator John Cornyn.

DPS Officers Charged in Assault

Two sworn Texas Department of Public Safety officers have been indicted on felony charges for aggravated assault.

The Austin-American Statesmanreports that San Marcos-area officers Charlie Potter and Santiago Montez face charges for an incident that took place in March 2011. That’s following indictments on counts of official oppression last year. The Statesman writes:

The additional charges stem from an incident last year in which the officers mistreated two men, according to court records. DPS spokesman Tom Vinger said the incident happened when the officers were off duty but declined to give details about the case … According to the newest indictments, on March 11, 2011, Potter displayed a firearm and threatened to injure a man, and Montez pulled a second man down, causing his head to hit the pavement.

Montez was booked and released on $10,000 bail, while as of last night, Potter still has a warrant for his arrest.

 Senate Race Continues

Republican U.S. Senate candidates David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz have hit the ground running, heading to a runoff election this summer.

Dewhurst appeared on the Laura Ingraham show and accused Cruz of seeking amnesty for illegal immigrants by way of serving on two related immigration boards – but failed to remember their names, writes The Dallas Morning News.

 Cruz responded with a new fundraising launch, imploring donors to send the “Cruz Missile” to defeat the establishment.

 The runoff election is July 31.

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