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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 17, 2014 04:27 PM
From: Senator Rob Teplitz and Sen. John C. Rafferty, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation - Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence (SAFE) Act
In the near future, we plan to introduce legislation that will require every law enforcement agency that is involved in the investigation of a sexual assault case, to provide a written notice to the Pennsylvania State Police of the number of sexual assault cases in possession that have not been submitted to a laboratory for testing.

DNA forensic identification analysis is a powerful law enforcement tool for identifying sexual assault evidence and using it in investigation and prosecutions. Currently, there is no law that requires law enforcement agencies to determine how many untested sexual assault cases they have in possession. This can become a public safety issue affecting men, women and children in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the Commonwealth to require these law enforcement agencies to report the amount of evidence collected from a sexual assault investigation that is currently not being analyzed.

This bill will bring Pennsylvania into the ongoing effort of resolving the nationwide epidemic of unresolved sexual assault cases due to the lack of laws requiring law enforcement agencies to report the amount of sexual assault cases that are not being investigated due to various reasons. This legislation will not only require law enforcement agencies to submit a notice of all current untested sexual assault evidence to the Pennsylvania State Police, but it also requires the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police to submit a report which will include the summary of the inventory received and a timeline for the completion of the analysis of the rape kits.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB302