7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill modifies provisions of the criminal code regarding the testing of sexual assault
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 ▸ requires that all sexual assault kits, except for those classified as restricted kits, be
14 tested to obtain DNA profiles;
15 ▸ provides that testing of a sexual assault kit be completed within a specified amount
16 of time;
17 ▸ provides the process by which sexual assault kits shall be stored and transmitted for
19 ▸ provides that a sexual assault kit shall be classified as a restricted kit if the victim
20 chooses not to interview with law enforcement about the sexual assault or sexual
22 ▸ provides the guidelines and process for the retention and disposal of sexual assault
24 ▸ requires medical personnel who conduct sexual assault examinations to inform each
25 victim of specified rights, available treatments, and services;
26 ▸ authorizes the Department of Public Safety to develop and implement a statewide
27 sexual assault kit tracking system;
28 ▸ requires the Department of Public Safety and the Utah Prosecution Council to
29 develop and offer training to law enforcement officers on responding to cases of
30 sexual assault or sexual abuse;
31 ▸ requires the Peace Officers Standards and Training division to provide training to
32 persons seeking certification as a peace officer on sexual assault and sexual abuse;
33 ▸ provides rulemaking authority for the Department of Public Safety to implement the
34 tracking system, establish the timelines for processing sexual assault kits, and the
35 submission of information for each sexual assault kit; and
36 ▸ requires the Department of Public Safety to report to the Law Enforcement and
37 Criminal Justice Interim Committee each year regarding the processing of sexual
38 assault kits.
39 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
41 Other Special Clauses:
43 Utah Code Sections Affected:
45 76-5-601, Utah Code Annotated 1953
46 76-5-602, Utah Code Annotated 1953
47 76-5-603, Utah Code Annotated 1953
48 76-5-604, Utah Code Annotated 1953
49 76-5-605, Utah Code Annotated 1953
50 76-5-606, Utah Code Annotated 1953
51 76-5-607, Utah Code Annotated 1953
52 76-5-608, Utah Code Annotated 1953
53 76-5-609, Utah Code Annotated 1953
54 76-5-610, Utah Code Annotated 1953
56 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
57 Section 1. Section 76-5-601 is enacted to read:
59 76-5-601. Title.
60 This part is known as the "Sexual Assault Kit Processing Act".
61 Section 2. Section 76-5-602 is enacted to read:
62 76-5-602. Definitions.
63 For purposes of this part:
64 (1) "Collecting facility" means a hospital, health care facility, or other facility that
65 performs sexual assault examinations.
66 (2) "Department" means the Department of Public Safety.
67 (3) "Evidence-based, trauma-informed, victim-centered" means policies, procedures,
68 programs, and practices that:
69 (a) have demonstrated an ability to minimize retraumatization associated with the
70 criminal justice process by recognizing the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledging
71 the role that trauma has played in the life of a victim of sexual assault or sexual abuse; and
72 (b) encourage law enforcement officers to interact with victims of sexual assault or
73 sexual abuse with compassion and sensitivity in a nonjudgmental manner.
74 (4) "Restricted kit" means a sexual assault kit:
75 (a) that is collected by a collecting facility; and
76 (b) for which the victim chooses not to provide a personal statement about the sexual
77 assault to law enforcement, as provided in Subsection 76-5-606(1)(d).
78 (5) "Sexual assault kit" means a package of items that is used by medical personnel to
79 gather and preserve biological and physical evidence following an allegation of sexual assault
80 and may include selected swabs of biological evidence that is contained in a UQuik kit.
81 Section 3. Section 76-5-603 is enacted to read:
82 76-5-603. All sexual assault kits to be submitted.
83 (1) Except as provided in Subsection 76-5-604(4), beginning July 1, 2018, all sexual
84 assault kits received by law enforcement agencies shall be submitted to the Utah Bureau of
85 Forensic Services in accordance with the provisions of this part.
86 (2) The Utah Bureau of Forensic Services shall test all sexual assault kits that the
87 bureau receives with the goal of developing autosomal DNA profiles that are eligible for entry
88 into the Combined DNA Index System.
89 (3) (a) The testing of all sexual assault kits shall be completed within a specified
90 amount of time, as determined by administrative rule consistent with the provisions of this part.
91 (b) The ability of the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services to meet the established time
92 frames may be dependent upon the following factors:
93 (i) the number of sexual assault kits that the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services
95 (ii) the technology available and improved testing methods;
96 (iii) fully trained and dedicated staff to meet the full workload needs of the Utah
97 Bureau of Forensic Services; and
98 (iv) the number of lab requests received relating to other crime categories.
99 Section 4. Section 76-5-604 is enacted to read:
100 76-5-604. Sexual assault kit processing -- Restricted kits.
101 (1) The collecting facility shall enter the required victim information into the statewide
102 sexual assault kit tracking system, defined in Section 76-5-607, within 24 hours of performing
103 a sexual assault examination.
104 (2) Each sexual assault kit collected by medical personnel shall be taken into custody
105 by a law enforcement agency as soon as possible and within one business day of notice from
106 the collecting facility.
107 (3) The law enforcement agency that receives a sexual assault kit shall enter the
108 required information into the statewide sexual assault kit tracking system, provided in Section
109 76-5-607, within five business days of receiving a sexual assault kit from a collecting facility.
110 (4) Each sexual assault kit received by a law enforcement agency from a collecting
111 facility that relates to an incident that occurred outside of the jurisdiction of the law
112 enforcement agency shall be transferred to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over
113 the incident within 10 days of learning that another law enforcement agency has jurisdiction.
114 (5) (a) Except for restricted kits, each sexual assault kit shall be submitted to the Utah
115 Bureau of Forensic Services as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after receipt by a law
116 enforcement agency.
117 (b) Restricted kits may not be submitted to the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services.
118 (c) Restricted kits shall be maintained by the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction,
119 in accordance with the provisions of this part.
120 (d) If a victim chooses to provide a personal statement about the sexual assault or
121 sexual abuse to law enforcement at any time after declining to provide a statement:
122 (i) the restricted kit shall no longer be classified as restricted; and
123 (ii) the sexual assault kit shall be transmitted to the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services
124 as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the victim chooses to provide a statement to
125 law enforcement.
126 (6) If available, a suspect standard or a consensual partner elimination standard shall be
127 submitted to the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services:
128 (a) with the sexual assault kit, if available, at the time the sexual assault kit is
129 submitted; or
130 (b) as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days from the date the kit was obtained by
131 the law enforcement agency, if not obtained until after the sexual assault kit is submitted.
132 (7) Failure to meet a deadline established in this part or as part of any rules established
133 by the department is not a basis for dismissal of a criminal action or a bar to the admissibility
134 of the evidence in a criminal action.
135 Section 5. Section 76-5-605 is enacted to read:
136 76-5-605. Sexual assault kit retention and disposal.
137 Any item of evidence gathered by collecting facility personnel, law enforcement,
138 prosecutorial, or defense authorities that may be subject to deoxyribonucleic acid evidence
139 testing and analysis in order to confirm the guilt or innocence of a criminal defendant may not
140 be disposed of before trial of a criminal defendant unless:
141 (1) 50 years have passed from the date of evidence collection for sexual assault kits
142 relating to an uncharged or unresolved crime; or
143 (2) 20 years have passed from the date of evidence collection for restricted kits, and:
144 (a) the prosecution has determined that the defendant will not be tried for the criminal
146 (b) the prosecution has filed a motion with the court to destroy the evidence; and
147 (c) an attempt has been made to notify the victim as required in Subsections
148 77-37-3(3)(b)(i) and (ii).
149 Section 6. Section 76-5-606 is enacted to read:
150 76-5-606. Victim notification of rights -- Notification of law enforcement.
151 (1) Collecting facility personnel who conduct sexual assault examinations shall inform
152 each victim of a sexual assault of:
153 (a) available services for treatment of sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and
154 other medical and psychiatric conditions;
155 (b) available crisis intervention or other mental health services provided;
156 (c) the option to receive prophylactic medication to prevent sexually transmitted
157 infections and pregnancy;
158 (d) the right to determine:
159 (i) whether to provide a personal statement about the sexual assault to law
160 enforcement; and
161 (ii) if law enforcement should have access to any paperwork from the forensic
162 examination; and
163 (e) the victim's rights as provided in Section 77-37-3.
164 (2) The collecting facility shall notify law enforcement as soon as practicable if the
165 victim of a sexual assault decides to interview and discuss the assault with law enforcement.
166 (3) If a victim of a sexual assault declines to provide a personal statement about the
167 sexual assault to law enforcement, the collecting facility shall provide a written notice to the
168 victim that contains the following information:
169 (a) where the sexual assault kit will be stored;
170 (b) notice that the victim may choose to contact law enforcement any time after
171 declining to provide a personal statement;
172 (c) the name, phone number, and email address of the law enforcement agency having
173 jurisdiction; and
174 (d) the name and phone number of a local rape crisis center.
175 Section 7. Section 76-5-607 is enacted to read:
176 76-5-607. Statewide sexual assault kit tracking system.
177 (1) The department shall develop and implement a statewide tracking system by July 1,
178 2018, that contains the following information for all sexual assault kits collected by law
180 (a) the submission status of sexual assault kits by law enforcement to the Utah Bureau
181 of Forensic Services;
182 (b) notification by the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services to law enforcement of DNA
183 analysis findings; and
184 (c) the storage location of sexual assault kits.
185 (2) The tracking system shall include a secure electronic access that allows the
186 submitting agency, collecting facility, department, and a victim, or his or her designee, to
187 access or receive information, provided that the disclosure does not impede or compromise an
188 active investigation, about the:
189 (a) lab submission status;
190 (b) DNA analysis findings provided to law enforcement; and
191 (c) storage location of a sexual assault kit that was gathered from that victim.
192 Section 8. Section 76-5-608 is enacted to read:
193 76-5-608. Law enforcement -- Training -- Sexual assault and sexual abuse.
194 (1) The department and the Utah Prosecution Council shall develop training in
195 trauma-informed responses and investigations of sexual assault and sexual abuse, which
196 include, but are not limited to, the following:
197 (a) recognizing the symptoms of trauma;
198 (b) understanding the impact of trauma on a victim;
199 (c) responding to the needs and concerns of a victim of sexual assault or sexual abuse;
200 (d) delivering services to victims of sexual assault or sexual abuse in a compassionate,
201 sensitive, and nonjudgmental manner;
202 (e) understanding cultural perceptions and common myths of sexual assault and sexual
203 abuse; and
204 (f) techniques of writing reports in accordance with Subsection (5).
205 (2) (a) The department and the Utah Prosecution Council shall offer the training in
206 Subsection (1) to all certified law enforcement officers in the state of Utah by July 1, 2018.
207 (b) The training for all law enforcement officers may be offered through an online
208 course, developed by the department and the Utah Prosecution Council.
209 (3) The training listed in Subsection (1) shall be offered by the Peace Officer Standards
210 and Training division to all persons seeking certification as a peace officer, beginning July 1,
212 (4) (a) The department and the Utah Prosecution Council shall develop and offer an
213 advanced training course by July 1, 2018, for officers who investigate cases of sexual assault or
214 sexual abuse.
215 (b) The advanced training course shall include:
216 (i) all criteria listed in Subsection (1); and
217 (ii) interviewing techniques in accordance with the curriculum standards in Subsection
219 (5) The department shall consult with the Utah Prosecution Council to develop the
220 specific training requirements of this section, including evidence-based curriculum standards
221 for report writing and response to sexual assault and sexual abuse, including trauma-informed
222 and victim-centered interview techniques, which have been demonstrated to minimize
223 retraumatizing victims.
224 Section 9. Section 76-5-609 is enacted to read:
225 76-5-609. Rulemaking authority.
226 After consultation with the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services and in accordance with
227 Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, the department shall make rules,
228 consistent with this part, regarding:
229 (1) the procedures for the submission and testing of all sexual assault kits collected by
230 law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies in the state;
231 (2) the information and evidence that is required to be submitted as part of each sexual
232 assault kit submission; and
233 (3) goals for the completion of analysis and classification of all sexual assault kit
235 Section 10. Section 76-5-610 is enacted to read:
236 76-5-610. Reporting requirement.
237 The Department of Public Safety and the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services shall report
238 by July 31 of each year to the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee and
239 the Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee regarding:
240 (1) the timelines set for testing all sexual assault kits submitted to the Utah Bureau of
241 Forensic Services as provided in Subsection 76-5-603(2);
242 (2) the goals established in Section 76-5-609;
243 (3) the status of meeting those goals;
244 (4) the number of sexual assault kits that are sent to the Utah Bureau of Forensic
245 Services for testing;
246 (5) the number of restricted kits held by law enforcement;
247 (6) the number of sexual assault kits that are not processed in accordance with the
248 timelines established in this part; and
249 (7) future appropriations requests that will ensure that all DNA cases can be processed
250 according to the timelines established by this part.
Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel