(3/14/19) A bill requiring more accountability when it comes to testing rape kits passed the House earlier this week.
Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R) Elm Springs, the bill’s lead sponsor says she was suprised to find out the previous tracking system wasn’t mandated and some sexual assault kits weren’t even being processed.
“This brings Arkansas up to date and we now have a way of tracking those kits for free,” says Rep. Lundstrum.
AR State Crime Lab executive director, Kermit Channell, says this is a good next step that provides a system of accountability requiring health care providers and law enforcement to submit all of these kits.
“The DNA information that we can get from a sexual assault kit it can help that case that they’re [law enforcement] investigating but it can also help to track serial criminals and get serial rapists,” says Channell.
The crime lab will have 60 days from when they receive the kits to process them and get the results to law enforcement.
The new system will also allow victims to track the kits.
“I think it’s a good bill for us, I think it’s a good bill for survivors of sexual assault because at no given time do we want one of these kits to languish,” says Channell.
The bill passed the full House Tuesday with 95 yea, 0 Nay and 5 who didn’t vote.