FRANKFORT – Legislation, sponsored by Senator Denise Harper Angel, D-Louisville, that would assist with the carriage of justice in sexual assault cases today passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senate Joint Resolution 20 requires law enforcement agencies to count and report the number of untested rape kits in their possession.
“Every woman who submits to a rape test kit deserves to know that it will be tested,” said Senator Harper Angel. “By doing so, we ensure a better opportunity for quick justice and a better opportunity to take criminals off the streets.”
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that there are over 100,000 backlogged sexual assault examination kits across the country waiting to be tested. Preventing a backlog of these kits is essential to the administration of justice.
SJR 20 directs every law enforcement and prosecutorial agency responsible for the collection, storage and maintenance of sexual assault examination kits to report to the KSP forensic lab by September 1 the number of kits in their custody that have not been sent to the KSP lab and the date the kits were collected. The KSP forensic lab is to report the findings to the Legislative Research Commission no later than November 1, 2015.
“Having the actual count is the first step in clearing the shelves of untested sexual assault kits,” said Senator Harper Angel. “This measure would be a big step forward for Kentucky to make sure the voices of victims are heard and that we are able to move ahead in seeking justice.
SJR 20 now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
Senator Harper Angel, who represents the 35th District, has served in the State Senate since 2005.