MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Monongalia Prosecutor’s Office will become the statewide clearinghouse for previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs). A grant from the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative will completely fund the services of retired Morgantown Police Department detective Lawrence Hasley.

The grant is from the Bureau of Justice’s National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative through the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services.

“The purpose of his position is to coordinate across the state the testing of sexual assault kits that have been left untested and the evidence associated with them,” Mucciola said.

Hasley worked with the Monongalia Prosecutor’s Office about 10 years ago on a blitz to test as many kits as possible. His work resulted in successful prosecutions and some closure for families and victims.

“Monongalia County was one of two counties in the state at the forefront of gathering this evidence and these kits and sending them to Marshall University for testing,” Mucciola said. “Monongalia County successfully prosecuted several of these sexual assault cold cases with the help of Hasley.”

Now, ten years later, Halsey will return, completely funded by the federal grant, to continue the work. Much of the testing and investigations have suffered or been slow due to staffing and workload issues. That is expected to change with Hasley at the helm, managing the process day-to-day.

“The fact that it’s coming back to Monongalia County and we’re going to be the site coordinator for the entire state is really exciting,” Mucciola said.

So far in West Virginia, a total of 2,677 previously unsubmitted kits have been tested, and 1,000 DNA profiles have been identified and submitted into the national DNA database. Of the 1,000 profiles, 388 matches for offenders were found in 25 states and Puerto Rico.

“With the help of Hasley, we were able to solve cold-case sexual assault cases that maybe wouldn’t have been solved without these types of funds,” Mucciola said.

In this program, the only kits that will not be tested are those labeled “non-reports.”