Bill Requiring Prompt Rape Kit Testing Passes Assembly Public Safety Committee

SB 22 Helps Ensure Justice for Survivors and Hold Rapists Accountable

SACRAMENTO – With strong bipartisan support, the Assembly Public Safety Committee today passed Senate Bill 22, important legislation co-sponsored by DA Nancy O’Malley and authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) requiring that law enforcement agencies and forensic laboratories promptly analyze and test all newly collected rape kit evidence in California.

SB 22 ensures that sexual assault victims in California will have access to the swift submission and analysis of forensic evidence associated with their cases. Under the requirements of the proposal, newly collected rape kits must be submitted within 20 days and tested no later than 120 days after receipt. Promptly testing DNA evidence in rape kits will prevent backlogs of forensic evidence in laboratories or evidence rooms and can identify an unknown assailant, link crimes together, identify serial perpetrators, and exonerate the wrongfully convicted.

“SB 22 is long overdue legislation that will help to ensure justice for survivors and protect our local communities by requiring the prompt testing of rape kits in California,” Senator Leyva said. “There is absolutely no reason why we should not be testing every rape kit in our state, particularly when those rape kits may contain crucial evidence that can help put rapists behind bars. I appreciate the strong support on both sides of the aisle for this common sense legislation that reaffirms California’s commitment to survivors and public safety.”

“It is of vital importance that this evidence is tested in a timely manner. Without such a requirement, DNA evidence sits untested, survivors are denied justice and perpetrators go undetected. I am honored to work alongside Senator Leyva and our other partners in the effort to enact this significant piece of legislation,” states District Attorney O’Malley.

DA O’Malley is a statewide and national leader who has long fought for the elimination of the backlog not only in Alameda County, but in counties throughout California and the United States. Through her efforts, Alameda County successfully identified and cleared over 1,900 backlogged sexual assault kits. DA O’Malley’s advocacy has also been key to securing federal funding that enables local law enforcement agencies around the country to identify and eliminate their own backlogs.

SB 22 is jointly sponsored by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, Joyful Heart Foundation, and Natasha’s Justice Project.

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Contact: ADA Teresa Drenick // Teresa.Drenick@acgov.org // (510) 272-6280

Posted on Jun 11, 2019