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This entry was published on 2019-06-21
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SECTION 838-A
Maintenance of sexual offense evidence kits
Executive (EXC) CHAPTER 18, ARTICLE 35
§ 838-a. Maintenance of sexual offense evidence kits. 1. The following
requirements shall apply to all sexual offense evidence kits surrendered
to or collected by, at the request of, or with cooperation of a police
agency or prosecutorial agency:

(a) Each such police agency and prosecutorial agency shall submit any
sexual offense evidence kits in its custody or control to an appropriate
forensic laboratory within ten days of receipt.

(b) Each forensic laboratory receiving sexual offense evidence kits
after the effective date of this section shall assess case specific
information for Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) eligibility and, if
eligible, analyze the kits and attempt to develop CODIS eligible
profiles of any potential perpetrators from the evidence submitted. The
forensic lab shall report the results to the submitting agency and
appropriate prosecutorial entity within ninety days after receipt of a
kit.

(c) Each police agency and prosecutorial agency that has one or more
sexual offense evidence kit in its custody or control shall, within
ninety days after the effective date of this paragraph, inventory such
kits and report the total number of such kits to the division and to the
forensic laboratory where such kits will be submitted pursuant to
paragraph (a) of this subdivision. The division shall provide such
inventories to the senate and assembly leaders by March first, two
thousand seventeen. Every police and prosecutorial agency shall update
this report each month thereafter until paragraph (a) of this
subdivision has become effective.

(d) Each police agency and prosecutorial agency that, prior to the
effective date of paragraph (a) of this subdivision, has one or more
sexual offense evidence kits in its custody or control shall, within
thirty days after the effective date of this section, submit all
untested kits in its possession or control to an appropriate forensic
laboratory.

(e) Each forensic laboratory, within one hundred twenty days after
receiving each sexual offense evidence kit pursuant to paragraph (d) of
this subdivision shall assess case specific information for CODIS
eligibility and, if eligible, analyze the kits and attempt to develop
CODIS eligible profiles for any potential perpetrators and shall, within
ninety days of such assessment, report the results to the submitting
agency and the appropriate prosecutorial entity.

(f) The failure of any such police agency, prosecutorial agency or
forensic laboratory to comply with a time limit specified in this
section or section eight hundred thirty-eight-b of this article shall
not, in and of itself, constitute a basis for a motion to suppress
evidence in accordance with section 710.20 of the criminal procedure
law.

2. (a) Each forensic laboratory in the state shall report to the
division, on a quarterly basis, in writing, on (i) the number of sexual
offense evidence kits it received, (ii) the number of such kits
processed for the purpose of developing Combined DNA Index System
(CODIS) eligible profiles of any potential perpetrators, and (iii) the
number of kits not processed for testing, including, the reason such
kits were ineligible for processing.

(b) Each police agency and prosecutorial agency shall report to the
division on a quarterly basis, in writing, on (i) the number of all the
sexual offense evidence kits it received, (ii) the number of such kits
it submitted to a forensic laboratory for processing, (iii) the number
of kits in its custody or control that have not been processed for
testing, and (iv) the length of time between receipt of any such sexual
offense evidence kit and the submission of any such kit to the forensic
laboratory.

(c) The division shall provide to the senate and assembly leaders such
quarterly reports received from the forensic labs and police and
prosecutorial agencies pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b) of this
subdivision by January first, two thousand eighteen and annually
thereafter.

3. Each police agency, prosecutorial agency and other law enforcement
agency within this state shall adopt policies and procedures concerning
contact with victims of sexual offenses, and the provision of
information to victims upon request, concerning sexual offense evidence
collected or received from them. The policies and procedures shall be
victim-focused, meaning systematically focused on the needs and concerns
of victims to ensure the compassionate and sensitive delivery of
services in a nonjudgemental manner, and shall include, at a minimum, a
requirement that:

(a) the police agency, prosecutorial agency or other law enforcement
agency designate at least one person, who is trained in trauma and
victim response through a program meeting minimum standards established
by the division of criminal justice services, following appropriate
guidelines on evidence-based, trauma-informed practices, which may
include guidelines from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration, within its agency to receive all inquiries concerning
sexual offense evidence kits from victims; and

(b) at the time that a sexual offense evidence kit is collected, a
victim shall be provided with: (i) a copy of the victim bill of rights
described in subdivision six of section twenty-eight hundred five-i of
the public health law; and (ii) contact information, including a name,
phone number and e-mail address, for the individual designated pursuant
to paragraph (a) of this subdivision at the police agency, prosecutorial
agency or other law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the sexual
offense.

4. The division shall undertake actions designed to ensure that all
police agencies and prosecutorial agencies in the state and all forensic
laboratories are educated and aware of the provisions of this section.