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Bill to improve rape kit testing in Idaho signed into law

Posted: 2:51 PM, Mar 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-22 20:51:58Z

BOISE — Republican Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed into law legislation requiring sexual assault and rape kits to be tested -- with limited exceptions.

On Friday, Little held a news conference with Democratic Rep. Melissa Wintrow and said the new law will make Idaho residents safer.

The law improves systems used by law enforcement, health officials, and the Idaho State Police Forensic Services laboratory to process rape kits and clarifies tracking information.

In recent years, State officials have acknowledged having a significant backlog of rape kits that had not been submitted by police departments.

A rape kit is a collection of DNA evidence gathered after a sexual assault. It involves swabbing the victim's body, clothing and personal items to collect the assailant's DNA, which could potentially lead to arrests, charges or convictions.

The Legislation passed the House 68-1 and the Senate 35-0.

(by Associated Press)