Senator Saland Announces Passage Of His Bill To Require Criminal Defendants Indicted For Sex Crimes To Be Tested For Hiv

Stephen M. Saland

June 12, 2007

Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C Poughkeepsie) today announced his bill (S.3740A) to authorize a court to order a defendant to submit to HIV testing upon indictment on certain sex offenses has passed the Senate.

"As the law stands now, the perpetrator of a sex crime can only be required to be tested for HIV upon conviction and convictions can sometimes happen years after the crime took place," said Senator Saland. "Victims need to know as quickly as possible if there is a possibility they have been exposed to a serious disease so they can be proactive to protect their health", Saland added.

Any risk of prejudice or inconvenience to the defendant is greatly outweighed by the victim's urgent need for information necessary to obtain appropriate medical care. Moreover, this bill is necessary to obtain the full amount of Federal Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies (GTEAP). The failure to enact a law authorizing the HIV testing of certain defendants following indictment will result in a loss of 5% of GTEAP funds.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly where it is expected to pass before the legislative session ends.