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Utah moves for greater scrutiny, testing of sexual assault kits

Posted - Mar. 7, 2017 at 6:25 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Senate moved swiftly to approve legislation calling for law enforcement to test all sexual assault kits they receive.

Investigating agencies currently have the discretion to decide whether to test sexual assault kits, but HB200 amends the testing procedures and requires investigating agencies to test and submit the results of all sexual assault kits. Agencies would have to test a sexual assault kit within 30 days of its submission under the bill.

The bill, sponsored by House Minority Assistant Whip Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, would also employ a tracking system to provide oversight on the testing process.

Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said Utah's statewide working group for sexual assault kits found that there had been approximately 2,700 untested kits.

Weiler said Utah was awarded a federal sexual assault kit initiative grant to give investigative and prosecution support, and provide a training seminar for officers dealing with sexual assault cases.

He said the grant helped cut the cost of implementing the measure from $2.4 million to about $1.2 million.

The Senate passed the measure with a vote of 24-0 and returned the bill to the House for the speaker's signature.

— Ryan Morgan


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