(March 12) – Rep. Dianne Primavera’s bill to give sexual assault victims more privacy regarding their involvement with the criminal justice system won unanimous House passage this morning.
Currently, sexual assault victims have the option to cooperate with law enforcement, or decline. But either way, any evidence collected by criminal investigators, including testimony and forensic samples, is stored under the victim’s name.
SB15-128, sponsored in the House by Reps. Primavera, D-Broomfield, and Lois Landgraf, R-Fountain, allows sex assault victims to have evidence collected for a criminal investigation, but to talk to the detectives anonymously and have forensic evidence stored under a unique identifying number. The victim’s name will never show up in the police file unless she chooses.
“Sexual assault is the most underreported crime in America because it is intensely personal for the victim,” Rep. Primavera said. “By creating the option of anonymity, this bill will make it easier for a victim to come forward without fear that her name will become part of the public record. We hope this bill will lead to more prosecutions of sex offenders and more women coming forward to seek post-trauma medical care.”
The bill has the support of the associations representing Colorado’s sheriffs and chiefs of police and several victim support groups.
The 64-0 House vote on the bill sends it to Gov. John Hickenlooper for signing.