SACRAMENTO – The Assembly Public Safety Committee unanimously approved a bill by Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay) to clear a years-long backlog of rape kits that have not been tested.
Sponsored by Soroptimist International of Vacaville, which last year launched a successful campaign to clear a backlog of untested kits in their community, AB 1496 would mandate that all rape kits in law enforcement possession be sent to labs for testing within six months and for labs to process the kits quickly. It would also require rapid turnaround of all future rape kit evidence that is collected statewide.
“Collection of sexual assault forensic evidence can be a re-traumatizing experience for victims of sex crimes,” Frazier said. “Survivors expect kits to be tested quickly. Yet tens of thousands of rape kits remain untested in California. Requiring the prompt testing of the existing backlog of rape kit evidence will help law enforcement identify and convict serial offenders. Ensuring that future rape kits be tested promptly will help survivors receive justice.”
AB 1496 now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration.
Assemblymember Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which encompasses a large cross section of the Delta in Central Solano, Eastern Contra Costa and Southern Sacramento counties, and includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.
CONTACT: Andrew Bird (916) 319-2011 Andrew.Bird@asm.ca.gov