Bondi wants to clear rape test kit backlog

Kellie Greene was raped 20 years ago.

"I looked at the photo lineup and could not pick out the person that had raped me," said Greene.

But it took three years for her rape kit to be tested at the state crime lab the reason may surprise you.

"At the time it was a matter of funding. Cases are prioritized at the crime lab.  At the very top of that is murder, second would have been rape."

But the problem 20 years ago is the same problem today.  FDLE is under funded.

Attorney General Pam Bondi is now pushing for more money for state crime labs.  The goal is to test every rape kit that has been sitting on a shelf collecting dust.

"We're not gonna a put a price on public safety and we're not going to do it, " said Bondi.

Lab techs in Florida are the most underpaid in the country, making salaries as low as $25,000 a year.

Many get the experience they need and move on to higher paying jobs.

"I think FDLE has asked for $35-million this year which is actually a small to save a life," continued Bondi.

FDLE says they need more lab techs to up with demand -- not just with rape kits but with drug analysis as well. 

FOX 13 has been investigating the FDLE backlog for months.  It left a military officer in limbo after a field drug test kit showed the pill in his pocket was meth.  Turns out it wasn't, but it took months before FDLE's confirmatory test cleared his name.

Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco says his agency has over 300 rape kits that have gone untested, but that's about to change.

"I think this funding is critical for the success of law enforcement in the state of Florida," said Nocco.