DENVER, CO — Representative  Meg Froelich’s bill to improve how Colorado catalogues and maintains forensic medical evidence of sexual assault, known as rape kits, today was approved by the House Judiciary Committee. If enacted, the bill would begin the process of creating a rape kit tracking system, add  victims’ rights provisions and give them more access to information about the status of their medical evidence. The Judiciary Committee approved the bill unanimously. 

“We need to do more to protect the rights of survivors of sexual assault,” said Rep. Froelich, D-Englewood. “That means improving the rape kit processing and tracking system and making sure that victims of heinous crimes have the resources they need to track the status of their investigation confidentially and efficiently. This bill keeps us moving down a path towards doing right by survivors, and I’m proud to see it move forward today.”

HB20-1228 would require the Department of Public Safety to research the creation of a system to track forensic medical evidence related to sexual assault cases, known as rape kits. The bill  directs the department to develop rules to implement a system that allows victims to access information related to the status of this medical evidence, which must be retained until the assailant may no longer be prosecuted for the crime. If a conviction or plea has not been entered in a case, the bill requires the entity holding the medical evidence to notify the victim prior to the medical evidence being destroyed and to maintain the medical evidence for an additional 10 years if the victim objects to its destruction. 

It also includes provisions related to the confidentiality of the information in this system and requires medical professionals collecting evidence related to a sexual assault to notify the victim of the contact information for the nearest sexual assault victim’s advocate. 

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