Rape kit testing bill headed to Idaho Senate

Rape kit testing bill headed to Idaho Senate
Posted at 1:40 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 17:04:25-05

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- The Idaho House advanced legislation on Wednesday that would create a statewide system of collecting and tracking the physical evidence in sexual assault investigations.

House lawmakers unanimously approved to make sure that medical clinics will use rape kits to collect forensic evidence after a suspected sexual assault. The bill also ensures that clinics will send that evidence for DNA testing unless the victim requests otherwise.

Currently, enforcement agencies are in charge of determining if a kit should be tested. However, some agencies recently faced criticism for sending only a small sliver of kits to be tested.

Rape kits contain samples of semen, saliva or blood taken from a victim during a lengthy and invasive examination. Specimens containing DNA evidence are uploaded to a national database to check for a match.

The legislation now heads to the Senate for approval.