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Bay Area Assemblywoman's Bill Would Force the Processing of Rape Kits

Thousands of rape kits sit unprocessed in evidence rooms across California.

The bill requires that rape kits be sent for processing within 5 days.  (Photo: Patch Archive)
The bill requires that rape kits be sent for processing within 5 days. (Photo: Patch Archive)

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, announced new legislation Tuesday  that would address unprocessed rape evidence across the state.

Assembly Bill 1517 would set time limits for law enforcement agencies and forensics labs to process evidence related to sexual assaults.

The bill's text states that sexual assault forensic evidence must be sent to a crime lab within five days of when it is booked into evidence by a law enforcement agency.

The bill would also require the crime lab to process the evidence and upload DNA profiles to the state's Combined DNA Index System within 30 days.
 
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley partnered with local law enforcement agencies beginning in June 2011 to audit their property rooms for untested rape kits, according to the district attorney's office. The audit turned up more than 1,900 untested rape kits in Alameda County alone, O'Malley said.

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