Idaho House Signs Off On Mandatory Rape Kit Testing Bill

Feb 19, 2019

A proposal to require all rape kits to be tested in Idaho is one step closer to becoming law.

Idaho House lawmakers nearly unanimously passed the bill from Rep. Melissa Wintrow (D-Boise).

According to Idaho State Police, there were 78 kits that were not sent to the state lab for testing out of nearly 475 that were collected last year. That’s because victims can currently tell the lab not to process it.

Wintrow says that’s a problem.

“The victim is always in the driver’s seat when it comes to prosecution of a case and they will still remain that way, but if we don’t put the evidence into the national database, we risk not identifying those serial rapists that we’re looking for,” she says.

Under the bill, all rape kits will be tested unless law enforcement finds an allegation to be unfounded or if a victim wants the evidence collected to remain anonymous. They could later decide to have it tested.

The kits include forensic evidence collected from victims of sexual assault.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

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