To ensure that agencies preserve the option to extend the statute of limitations in unknown assailant cases, the Legislature should require law enforcement agencies to submit sexual assault evidence kits to a crime lab for analysis in all cases where the identity of the assailant is unknown, and it should require the labs to complete analysis of those sexual assault evidence kits within two years of the date of the associated offense. The Legislature should exempt from this requirement all cases where victims specifically request that law enforcement not analyze their kit, as well as cases where investigators determine that no crime occurred.
Assembly Bill 1848 (2016) would have required law enforcement agencies to report specified information regarding rape kit evidence to the Department of Justice through a database established by the department. The bill would have additionally required a public DNA laboratory, or a law enforcement agency contracting with a private laboratory, to provide a reason for not testing a sample every 120 days the sample is untested, except as specified. Finally, this bill would have required the department to file a report to the Legislature on an annual basis summarizing the information in its database, and would prohibit law enforcement agencies or laboratories from being compelled to provide any contents of the database in a civil or criminal case, except as required by a law enforcement agency's duty to produce exculpatory evidence to a defendant in a criminal case. This bill died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation. However, AB 1848 was introduced on February 9, 2016, to serve as a placeholder for changes to the Sexual Assault Victims DNA Bill of Rights. The bill did not pass.
Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation