FRANKFORT – Legislation, sponsored by Senator Denise Harper Angel, D-Louisville, that could expedite testing of sexual assault kits is headed to the House floor. However, a committee substitute added in the House Judiciary Committee will send the resolution back to the Senate for concurrence once it is approved by the full House.
“This change should not have any impact on the policy,” explained Senator Harper Angel. “I feel confident the Senate will concur with the House because it is a simple change in the reporting agency. The resolution is now back to the way it was originally drafted.”
Senate Joint Resolution 20 directs the Auditor of Public Accounts to study the number of sexual assault examination kits in the possession of Kentucky law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies that have not been sent to the Department of Kentucky State Police forensic laboratory for testing. It further requires a report to the Legislative Research Commission by 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.
“Every woman who submits to a rape test kit deserves to know that it will be tested,” said Senator Harper Angel. “This measure will ensure a better opportunity for quick justice and allow a better opportunity to take criminals off the streets.”
There are over 100,000 backlogged sexual assault examination kits across the country waiting to be tested, according to estimates by the U.S. Department of Justice. Preventing a backlog of these kits is essential to the administration of justice.
“This is good legislation that should become law,” she explained. “I feel confident that my colleagues in the House and the Senate want to do the right thing for rape victims and it will clear both chambers.”
Senator Harper Angel, who represents the 35th District, has served in the State Senate since 2005.