Senate Passes Kunze Bill Supporting Victims of Sexual Assault in their Pursuit of Justice
COLUMBUS—The Senate passed legislation today, sponsored by State Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard), which will improve the efficiency and tracking of sexual assault kits through the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
Senate Bill 323 will require the Attorney General to develop and maintain a statewide system to improve transparency around the collection, submission and analysis of sexual assault evidence kits.
"As we continue to help victims of sexual assault rebuild their lives, it is imperative that we provide them the ability to check the status of the testing of their rape kits, discreetly and respectfully," said Kunze. "My hope is that through this effort, we will help these victims with emotional healing, closure and a journey to move forward from their horrific experience."
The "Ohio Attorney General's Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System" will give those who have undergone a sexual assault forensic examination the option to anonymously track the status of their rape kit evidence by entering a barcode number into a free, online program.
The legislation seeks to require all agencies involved in the chain-of custody, of the sexual assault kits, to participate in the tracking program. This statewide system is being paid for by funds identified by the Ohio Attorney General’ s office and will not require monies to be allocated by the Ohio General Assembly.
Senate Bill 323 will now be sent to the Ohio House for further consideration.