HOUSE AMENDED
        PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 462, 1797, 2074          PRINTER'S NO. 2203

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA


SENATE BILL

No. 439 Session of 2005


        INTRODUCED BY ORIE, STOUT, COSTA, TARTAGLIONE, TOMLINSON,
           WONDERLING, GORDNER, RAFFERTY, KITCHEN, REGOLA, GREENLEAF,
           LEMMOND, STACK, BRIGHTBILL AND BOSCOLA, MARCH 22, 2005

        AS RE-REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, HOUSE OF
           REPRESENTATIVES, AS AMENDED, OCTOBER 23, 2006

                                     AN ACT

     1  Providing for a sexual assault evidence collection program and
     2     for powers and duties of the Department of Health and the
     3     Pennsylvania State Police; and establishing civil immunity.

     4     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     5  hereby enacts as follows:
     6  Section 1.  Short title.
     7     This act shall be known and may be cited as the Sexual
     8  Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act.
     9  Section 2.  Definitions.
    10     The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
    11  have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
    12  context clearly indicates otherwise:
    13     "Child advocacy center."  A local public agency in this
    14  Commonwealth, or a not-for-profit entity incorporated in this
    15  Commonwealth that is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the
    16  Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. §
    17  501(c)(3)) or any successor provision, which operates within

     1  this Commonwealth, for the primary purpose of providing a child-
     2  focused, facility-based program dedicated to coordinating a
     3  formalized multidisciplinary response to suspected child abuse.
     4  At a minimum, either onsite or through a partnership with
     5  another entity or entities, a child advocacy center shall assist
     6  county agencies, investigative teams and law enforcement by
     7  providing services, including forensic interviews, medical
     8  evaluations, therapeutic interventions, victim support and
     9  advocacy, team case reviews and a system for case tracking.
    10     "Date rape drug."  Any sedating substance that can be used to
    11  incapacitate a victim, making that person more susceptible to
    12  sexual assault, including, but not limited to, Rohypnol,
    13  Ketamine, GHB, MDMA (Ecstasy) and their derivatives.
    14     "PCAR."  The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.
    15     "Rape kit."  A sexual assault evidence collection kit.
    16     "SART."  The Sexual Assault Response Team.
    17     "Sexual assault."  Any of the offenses specified in 18
    18  Pa.C.S. Ch. 31 Subch. B (relating to definition of offenses).
    19     "Victim of sexual assault" or "victim."  A person who
    20  represents to a health care professional, hospital or other
    21  health care facility that the person has experienced a sexual
    22  assault.
    23  Section 3.  Sexual assault evidence collection program.
    24     (a)  Establishment.--There is hereby established a Statewide
    25  sexual assault evidence collection program to promote the health
    26  and safety of victims of sexual assault and to facilitate the
    27  prosecution of persons accused of sexual assault. This program
    28  shall be administered by the Department of Health. Under this
    29  program the Department of Health shall:
    30         (1)  Consult with PCAR and the Pennsylvania State Police
    20050S0439B2203                  - 2 -     

     1     to develop minimum standard requirements for all rape kits
     2     used in hospitals and health care facilities in this
     3     Commonwealth.
     4         (2)  Test and approve commercially available rape kits
     5     for use in this Commonwealth.
     6         (3)  Review the minimum standard requirements for rape
     7     kits and prior-approved rape kits every three years to assure
     8     that rape kits meet state-of-the-art minimum standards.
     9         (4)  Consult with PCAR, the Pennsylvania State Police,
    10     the International Association of Forensic Nurses, the
    11     Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania and any
    12     local SART to establish a program to train hospital, child
    13     advocacy center and health care facility personnel in the
    14     correct use and application of rape kits in order to maximize
    15     the health and safety of the victim and the potential to
    16     collect useful admissible evidence to prosecute persons
    17     accused of sexual assault.
    18     (b)  Duties of Pennsylvania State Police.--
    19         (1)  Where local law enforcement is unable to do so, the   <--
    20     Pennsylvania State Police shall be responsible for collecting
    21     rape kits from hospitals, child advocacy centers and health
    22     care facilities after the kits have been used to collect
    23     evidence.
    24         (2) (1)  When requested by local law enforcement,          <--
    25     district attorneys or the Office of Attorney General, the
    26     Pennsylvania State Police shall be responsible for ENSURE      <--
    27     THAT the analysis and laboratory testing of collected
    28     evidence, including samples that may contain traces of a date
    29     rape drug, ARE ACCOMPLISHED. THE COST OF THE TESTING OR        <--
    30     ANALYSIS SHALL NOT BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PENNSYLVANIA
    20050S0439B2203                  - 3 -     

     1     STATE POLICE.
     2         (3) (2)  The Pennsylvania State Police shall establish     <--
     3     and include as part of existing training programs for local
     4     law enforcement training to ensure that the chain of custody
     5     of all rape kits is established, to minimize any risk of
     6     tampering with evidence included in the rape kit and to
     7     insure ENSURE that all useful and proper evidence in addition  <--
     8     to the rape kit is collected at the hospital or health care
     9     facility.
    10  Section 4.  Civil immunity.
    11     A health care professional, including a physician, nurse or
    12  health care provider, and a health care institution, including a
    13  hospital, clinic, child advocacy center or health care facility,
    14  that provides evidence or information to a law enforcement
    15  officer pursuant to THIS ACT AT the request or consent of the     <--
    16  victim is immune from any civil or professional liability that
    17  might arise from the action, with the exception of willful or
    18  wanton misconduct.
    19  Section 20.  Effective date.
    20     This act shall take effect in 60 days.







    L22L35JS/20050S0439B2203         - 4 -
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