PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 381, 505
PRINTER'S NO. 586
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
399
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY LANGERHOLC, FOLMER, MARTIN, BARTOLOTTA, DiSANTO,
FONTANA, PHILLIPS-HILL, KILLION, GORDNER, BREWSTER, STEFANO,
SANTARSIERO, SABATINA, J. WARD, SCHWANK, YUDICHAK,
TARTAGLIONE, KEARNEY, FARNESE, BROWNE AND MUTH,
MARCH 11, 2019
AS AMENDED ON THIRD CONSIDERATION, APRIL 9, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of November 29, 2006 (P.L.1471, No.165),
entitled, "An act providing for a sexual assault evidence
collection program and for powers and duties of the
Department of Health and the Pennsylvania State Police;
establishing civil immunity; and providing for rights of
sexual assault victims," further providing for sexual assault
evidence collection program, for rights of sexual assault
victims and for report by Pennsylvania State Police.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 3(a)(6) and (c)(1) of the act of November
29, 2006 (P.L.1471, No.165), known as the Sexual Assault Testing
and Evidence Collection Act, amended October 24, 2018 (P.L.1192,
No.164), are amended and the section is amended by adding a
subsection to read:
Section 3. Sexual assault evidence collection program.
(a) Establishment.--There is hereby established a Statewide
sexual assault evidence collection program to promote the health
and safety of victims of sexual assault and to facilitate the
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prosecution of persons accused of sexual assault. This program
shall be administered by the department. Under this program the
department shall:
* * *
(6) Establish a designated telephone number for the use
of health care facilities who have notified local law
enforcement or the Pennsylvania State Police to take
possession of sexual assault evidence that has not been
completed within 72 hours. The following apply:
(i) The telephone line shall be staffed by a live
person during regular business hours.
(ii) The telephone line shall allow the health care
facility to leave a voicemail.
(iii) After receiving a report by a health care
facility under this paragraph, the department shall
contact local law enforcement or the Pennsylvania State
Police to take possession of the sexual assault evidence.
* * *
(c) Submission and analysis.--The following shall apply to
all sexual assault evidence obtained by a health care facility,
at the request or consent of the victim, on or after the
effective date of this subsection:
(1) Within 12 hours of collection of sexual assault
evidence, the health care facility shall notify the local law
enforcement agency of the jurisdiction where the reported
sexual assault occurred or the Pennsylvania State Police if
the jurisdiction is unknown. The local law enforcement agency
or the Pennsylvania State Police shall take possession of the
sexual assault evidence within 72 hours of receiving notice.
If local law enforcement or the Pennsylvania State Police has
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not taken possession of the sexual assault evidence within 72
hours of notification, the health care facility shall notify
the department through the designated telephone number. For
those cases in which the victim has not yet consented to
testing of the evidence, the evidence shall be preserved and
stored for a period of no less than [two years] THE DURATION
OF THE MAXIMUM APPLICABLE CRIMINAL STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS,
unless consent is provided before that period. The
Pennsylvania State Police, in consultation with the
Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association and the
Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, shall establish
policies for local law enforcement agencies relating to the
storage and preservation of the evidence, including, but not
limited to, the storage and preservation of evidence with
unknown jurisdiction.
* * *
(c.1) Anonymous submissions.--The following shall apply to
sexual assault evidence obtained by a health care facility at
the request or with the consent of the victim who does not wish
to make a report to law enforcement:
(1) Within 12 hours of collection of the sexual assault
evidence, the health care facility shall notify the local law
enforcement agency of the jurisdiction where the reported
sexual assault occurred. If the victim does not wish to state
or does not know where the sexual assault occurred, the
health care facility shall notify the Pennsylvania State
Police . The local law enforcement agency or Pennsylvania
State Police shall take possession of the sexual assault
evidence within 72 hours of receiving notice.
(2) The Pennsylvania State Police shall develop a form
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for the health care facility to attest that the victim gave
consent and wishes to remain anonymous. The Pennsylvania
State Police shall also develop a procedure to track the rape
kit, which permits the victim to make a report to law
enforcement and preserves the evidence for 20 years or the
duration of the maximum applicable criminal statute of
limitations , whichever is shorter .
(3) Within 15 days of receiving notice on the required
form of consent to the testing of the sexual assault
evidence, the local law enforcement agency or Pennsylvania
State Police shall submit the evidence awaiting testing to a
laboratory approved by the department for testing or
analysis.
(4) A laboratory shall complete the testing or analysis
of sexual assault evidence submitted under this section
within six months from the date of receipt of the evidence.
(5) The failure of a health care facility, local law
enforcement agency or the Pennsylvania State Police to submit
the sexual assault evidence in accordance with paragraph (1)
or (3) shall not alter the authority of a local law
enforcement agency , THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE or the
authority of a laboratory approved by the department to
accept and analyze the evidence.
* * *
Section 2. Section 5(c) of the act is amended, subsection
(a) is amended by adding paragraphs and the section is amended
by adding a subsection to read:
Section 5. Rights of sexual assault victims.
(a) General rule.--In addition to the rights provided under
the act of November 24, 1998 (P.L.882, No.111), known as the
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Crime Victims Act, a sexual assault victim, guardian of a sexual
assault victim or close relative of a deceased sexual assault
victim shall have all of the following rights, if requested by
the victim, guardian or relative:
* * *
(4) The right to not be prevented from, or charged for,
receiving a medical forensic examination.
(5) The right to:
(i) subject to paragraph (6) and section 3(c)(1) ,
have a sexual assault evidence collection kit or its
probative contents relating to the victim preserved,
without charge, for 20 years or the duration of the
maximum applicable criminal statute of limitations ,
whichever is shorter ; and
(ii) be informed in writing of policies governing
the collection and preservation of a sexual assault
evidence collection kit.
(6) The right to , upon written request, receive written
notification from the appropriate official with custody of a
sexual assault evidence collection kit or its probative
contents relating to the victim not later than 60 days before
the date of the intended destruction or disposal of the
sexual assault evidence collection kit or its probative
contents. The appropriate official with custody of the sexual
assault evidence collection kit shall collaborate with a
sexual assault counselor to employ best practices when
notifying a victim of information pertinent to the victim.
(7) The right to consult with a sexual assault
counselor.
(8) The right to information concerning availability of
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protective orders and policies related to the enforcement of
protective orders.
(9) The right to information about the availability of,
and eligibility for, victim compensation and restitution.
(10) The right to be informed of the rights under this
subsection. The Attorney General shall, in consultation with
the Office of Victim Advocate, the Pennsylvania State Police ,
the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, the
Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and PCAR, develop
a standard protocol for notifying sexual assault victims of
information relating to evidence gathered regarding the
victim. The Office of Victim Advocate shall disseminate the
standard protocol developed under this paragraph to law
enforcement agencies, rape crisis centers, sexual assault
counselors and health care facilities that the Office of
Victim Advocate determines are likely to encounter sexual
assault victims. The Attorney General, Pennsylvania State
Police , the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, the
Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and Office of
Victim Advocate shall make the standard protocol available on
a publicly accessible Internet website.
* * *
(b.1) Anonymous reporters.--
(1) A victim who has chosen to make an anonymous report
may still elect to receive notification under this section.
(2) The form for consent for anonymous testing shall
include a provision for submission of contact information for
a victim requesting notification AND A PROVISION FOR
OBTAINING INFORMATION MANDATED FOR CODIS ELIGIBILITY,
INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE REQUEST FOR OR THE
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SUBMISSION OF ELIMINATION SAMPLES .
(3) The contact information provided for the purposes of
notification AND CODIS ELIGIBILITY shall not be used for any
other purpose, including contacting the victim for
investigative purposes.
(c) [Definition.--As used in this section, the term "close]
Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and
phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection
unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Close relative of a deceased sexual assault [victim" means
an] victim." An individual who:
(1) was the spouse of a deceased sexual assault victim
at the time of the victim's death; or
(2) is a parent, legal guardian or adult brother, sister
or child of a deceased sexual assault victim.
"Sexual assault counselor." As defined in 42 Pa.C.S. ยง
5945.1 (relating to confidential communications with sexual
assault counselors).
Section 3. Section 6 of the act, added October 24, 2018
(P.L.1192, No.164), is amended to read:
Section 6. Report by Pennsylvania State Police.
In consultation with the department, PCAR and, as necessary
with local law enforcement, the Pennsylvania State Police shall
compile the following data and submit a report to the department
by December 31, 2018, and [biannually] annually thereafter:
(1) The volume of sexual assault evidence [submitted]
for which testing is completed.
(2) The volume of backlogged sexual assault evidence
awaiting testing.
[(3) The rate of submission of sexual assault evidence
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by law enforcement agencies in compliance with the provisions
of this act.]
(4) The [speed of testing of sexual assault evidence,
average wait] average turnaround time to complete testing and
reasons for any delays in submission or testing of sexual
assault evidence.
(5) A review of current practices, including interagency
collaboration with law enforcement agencies and rape crisis
centers, in rape kit evidence collection every two years.
Section 4. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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