S.B.1355

Arizona State Legislature

Bill Title sexual assault; survivor rights
Hispanic Sponsors AZ Leader Katie Hobbs -- Minority Leader (D-AZ-024); AZ Rep. Juan Mendez (D-AZ-010); AZ Rep. Lisa Otondo (D-AZ-026)
Date Introduced 01/26/2017
NHCSL Task Force
Law and Criminal Justice
Primary Issue Area Crime and Law Enforcement
Issue Areas
Civil law
Criminal justice
Session 53rd Legislature - 1st Regular Session

Summary

SB1355 - 531R - Senate Fact Sheet Assigned to JUD FOR COMMITTEE ARIZONA STATE SENATE Fifty-Third Legislature, First Regular Session REVISED FACT SHEET FOR S.B. 1355 sexual assault; survivor rights Purpose Establishes rights for sexual assault survivors relating to sexual assault evidence collection kits (kits). Background The Victims' Bill of Rights of the Arizona Constitution outlines certain protections that a person is to be afforded when a crime is committed against him or her. These protections include several rights relating to the crime committed against the victim such as the right to be notified when the accused or convicted person has been released from custody and the right to be heard at certain proceedings relating to the crime (Arizona Constitution, Art. II SS 2.1). This legislation adds specific rights for victims of sexual assault. According to statute, sexual assault occurs when a person intentionally or knowingly engages in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person without consent of that person. Sexual assault is a class 2 felony, and the presumptive term for this offense is seven years (A.R.S. SS 13-1406). According to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), victims of sexual assault should tend to their medical needs as soon as possible and before bathing, changing clothes, drinking, smoking, eating or urinating. Victims are examined for evidence collection as well as for injury treatment, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Kits are primary means of evidence collection and preservation and, after collection and labeling by healthcare personnel, the evidence is turned over to agencies for investigation. By federal statute, several grant programs administered by the Office on Violence Against Women require that applicants and grantees certify that their laws, policies and practices do not require the victim to bear the cost of different fees associated with rape exams, protection orders or criminal charges (42 U.S.C. SS 3796gg-4). Accordingly, Arizona statute requires counties to pay for any medical or forensic interview expenses arising out of the need to secure evidence that a person has been the victim of sexual assault (A.R.S. SS 13-1414). Provisions Collection 1. Establishes for a survivor of sexual assault the right: a) not to be prevented from, or charged for, receiving a medical forensic examination; and b) to have a medical forensic examination regardless of whether or not the victim reported the sexual assault or is cooperating with law enforcement. Preservation 2. Establishes for a survivor of sexual assault the right: a) to have a kit and its contents preserved without charge for 20 years or the duration of the maximum applicable statute of limitations, whichever is shorter; and b) to be granted further preservation of the kit or its evidence, on written request by the victim. Notification 3. Establishes for a survivor of sexual assault the right: a) to be informed of evidence obtained from a kit such as a DNA profile match, toxicology report or other information gathered in a medical forensic examination, if the disclosure would not interfere with an ongoing investigation; b) to be informed in writing of policies that govern the preservation and collection of kits; and c) to receive written notification 60 days before an official with custody of the kit or its contents intends to destroy or dispose of any evidence, on written request by the victim. 4. Requires a victim of sexual assault to be informed of these rights. Miscellaneous 5. Becomes effective on the general effective date. Revisions 1. Updates the fiscal impact statement. Prepared by Senate Research February 8, 2017 AW/VR/rr

Notes

Official & Unofficial Title(s): Sexual Assault; Survivor Rights Bill/Law #: AZ S.B. 1355 NHCSL Committee: Law and Criminal Justice NHCSL Sponsor(s): Martin Quezaba State/Territory: Arizona Date: January 31, 2017 Summary: Survivors of sexual assault will have the right to a medical forensic examination without charge, have a sexual assault collection kit, and given all information that is collected from the kit.