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No mold has been detected inside the 520 rape kits sent out for testing since the Austin Police Department discovered a mold-like substance growing on 849 of their backlogged kits in April. But the crime lab saga is far from over. As APD works to clear the backlog and erase doubts about its still-operating labs, the Capital Area Private Defender Service sits in the thick of its materiality review, as the Travis County District Attor­ney's Office covers its tracks via Brady notices to those convicted in part by DNA evidence analyzed at APD.

On Aug. 31, City Council approved an agreement between the city and University of North Texas, led by Dr. Bruce Budowle of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, to handle the scientific review of cases identified by CAPDS. Inde­pen­dent entities have expressed confidence in Budowle. Trudy Strassburger, CAPDS's deputy director, reminded he "was the one who raised many of the issues concerning APD's lab." And CAPDS's Foren­sic Project – the unit responsible for the materiality review – is currently working with the D.A.'s Office to choose the first batch of 10 cases to be sent to UNT. Strassburger hopes to have the first round of results back in October or November.

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