R.I. House passes bill requiring audit of DNA from rape kits

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The House of Representatives passed legislation that requires an audit of DNA samples that have been collected by law enforcement rape kits.

A rape kit is collected forensic evidence left behind after a sexual assault and is usually collected by a doctor immediately after an incident.

The legislation, which was introduced by Majority Floor Manager John Edwards, would require the state crime laboratory to conduct an audit of DNA samples in the DNA databank to assure they are being recorded correctly.

Edwards said he worked with the Joyful Heart Foundation, an victim advocacy group, to craft the bill.

“Rape victims endure not only the brutality of sexual assault, but the indignity of a four- to six-hour procedure that basically treats their body as a crime scene,” Edwards said. “Victims need to have that evidence protected and preserved, and this bill will ensure that the law is being upheld by the agencies responsible for storing and maintaining that evidence.”

The bill will now be considered in the Senate.

Categories: News, Rhode Island