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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 1877

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 03/03/2017 08:58am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to public safety; establishing procedure for handling sexual assault
examination kits; providing notice to victims; amending Minnesota Statutes 2016,
sections 144.6586, subdivision 2; 609.35; proposing coding for new law in
Minnesota Statutes, chapters 299C; 611A.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 144.6586, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Contents of notice.

The commissioners of health and public safety, in
consultation with sexual assault victim advocates and health care professionals, shall develop
the notice required by subdivision 1. The notice must inform the victim, at a minimum, of:

(1) the obligation under section 609.35 of the county where the criminal sexual conduct
occurred to pay for the examination performed for the purpose of gathering evidence, that
payment is not contingent on the victim reporting the criminal sexual conduct to law
enforcement, and that the victim may incur expenses for treatment of injuries; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

(2) the victim's rights if the crime is reported to law enforcement, including the victim's
right to apply for reparations under sections 611A.51 to 611A.68, information on how to
apply for reparations, and information on how to obtain an order for protection or a
harassment restraining orderdeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; and
new text end

new text begin (3) the opportunity under section 611A.27 to obtain status information about an
unrestricted sexual assault examination kit, as defined in section 299C.106, subdivision 1,
paragraph (h).
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [299C.106] SEXUAL ASSAULT EXAMINATION KIT HANDLING.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin (a) As used in this section, the terms in this subdivision have
the meanings given.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Forensic laboratory" has the meaning given in section 299C.157, subdivision 1,
clause (2).
new text end

new text begin (c) "Patient" has the meaning given in section 144.291, subdivision 2, paragraph (g),
and means a person who consents to a sexual assault examination.
new text end

new text begin (d) "Release form" means a document provided by the hospital to the patient at the time
of the sexual assault examination that gives the patient the option of authorizing, in writing,
the release of the kit to law enforcement.
new text end

new text begin (e) "Restricted sexual assault examination kit" means a kit that does not have an
accompanying release form signed by the patient authorizing law enforcement to submit
the kit to a forensic laboratory. A health care professional shall provide the patient with
information about how to convert a restricted sexual assault examination kit to unrestricted
status.
new text end

new text begin (f) "Sexual assault examination kit" means a collection of evidence, including biological
material, gathered from a patient by a health care professional.
new text end

new text begin (g) "Submitted sexual assault examination kit" means an unrestricted kit that has been
submitted by law enforcement to a forensic laboratory.
new text end

new text begin (h) "Unrestricted sexual assault examination kit" means a kit that has an accompanying
release form signed by the patient allowing law enforcement to submit the kit to a forensic
laboratory.
new text end

new text begin (i) "Unsubmitted sexual assault examination kit" means an unrestricted kit that has not
been submitted by law enforcement to a forensic laboratory.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Transfer of unrestricted sexual assault examination kit from health care
professional to law enforcement agency.
new text end

new text begin When a sexual assault examination is performed,
evidence is collected, and the patient requests that law enforcement officials be notified and
signs a release form, the individual performing the examination, or the individual's designee,
shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency of the collection of the evidence in an
unrestricted sexual assault examination kit. The agency must retrieve an unrestricted sexual
assault examination kit from the health care professional within ten days of receiving notice
that the kit is available for transfer. Notification to the agency shall be made in writing.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Submission of unrestricted sexual assault examination kit. new text end

new text begin Within 60 days
of receiving an unrestricted sexual assault examination kit, a law enforcement agency shall
submit the kit for testing to a forensic laboratory, unless the law enforcement agency deems
the result of the kit would not add evidentiary value to the case. If a kit is not submitted
during this time, the agency shall make a record, in consultation with the county attorney,
stating the reasons why the kit was not submitted. An unsubmitted kit shall be held by the
agency for the retention period described in subdivision 4. Restricted sexual assault
examination kits shall not be submitted for testing.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Retention of restricted sexual assault examination kit. new text end

new text begin A restricted sexual
assault examination kit must be stored for a minimum of 18 months under appropriate
chain-of-custody conditions. Nothing in this section shall prevent jurisdictions from retaining
a restricted sexual assault examination kit for the duration of the statute of limitations for
prosecution.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin No basis for dismissal or bar to admissibility of evidence. new text end

new text begin Failure to meet a
deadline established in this section is not a basis for dismissal of a criminal action or a bar
to the admissibility of the evidence in a criminal action.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 609.35, is amended to read:


609.35 COSTS OF MEDICAL EXAMINATIONnew text begin; SEXUAL ASSAULTnew text end.

(a) Costs incurred by a county, city, or private hospital or other emergency medical
facility or by a private physician for the examination of a victim of criminal sexual conduct
when the examination is performed for the purpose of gathering evidence shall be paid by
the county in which the criminal sexual conduct occurred. These costs include, but are not
limited to, full cost of the deleted text beginrape kit examinationdeleted text endnew text begin sexual assault examination kit as defined in
section 299C.106, subdivision 1, paragraph (f)
new text end, associated tests relating to the complainant's
sexually transmitted disease status, and pregnancy status.

new text begin (b) The county shall pay for the examination for the purpose of evidence gathering, as
described under this section, and the victim is not liable for these costs and is not obligated
to authorize payment by the county. The hospital shall inform the victim of the county's
responsibility to pay by providing the notice required under section 144.6586.
new text end

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (c)new text end Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the duties, responsibilities, or
liabilities of any insurer, whether public or private. deleted text beginHowever, a county may seek insurance
reimbursement from the victim's insurer only if authorized by the victim. This authorization
may only be sought after the examination is performed. When seeking this authorization,
the county shall inform the victim that if the victim does not authorize this, the county is
required by law to pay for the examination and that the victim is in no way liable for these
costs or obligated to authorize the reimbursement.
deleted text endnew text begin A victim's insurer may only be billed for
the costs of the examination if specifically authorized by the victim after the examination
has been performed. If the victim does not provide authorization and the insurer is not billed
for the costs of the examination, the health care professional may submit a request for
payment directly to the county for the costs associated with the examination provided for
in this section.
new text end

new text begin (d) The health care professional examination report generated as part of this examination
shall meet state and federal law requirements for patient confidentiality and include:
new text end

new text begin (1) location information supplied by the victim sufficient to identify the county in which
the assault occurred;
new text end

new text begin (2) documentation of evidence collected from the victim, including biological evidence,
physical evidence, detailed history, and photographs; and
new text end

new text begin (3) when available, documentation of the victim's authorization for insurance billing.
new text end

new text begin (e) If the victim does not report the offense to law enforcement, the county may seek
verification of the location of the assault from the health care professional. The health care
professional shall provide the information obtained from the examination report in a separate
written form to the county in a manner that does not disclose the identity of the victim in
accordance with state and federal law.
new text end

new text begin (f) If the victim does report the offense but the location of the assault is not known, the
law enforcement agency responsible for the jurisdiction where the hospital is located shall
take initial custody of the examination kit.
new text end

deleted text begin (c)deleted text endnew text begin (g)new text end The applicability of this section does not depend upon whether the victim reports
the offense to law enforcement or the existence or status of any investigation or prosecution.

new text begin (h) Nothing in this section shall prevent the collection of costs beyond what is covered
as part of the examination under paragraph (a).
new text end

Sec. 4.

new text begin [611A.27] VICTIM NOTIFICATION RIGHTS TO SEXUAL ASSAULT
EXAMINATION KIT.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Access to law enforcement data. new text end

new text begin (a) Upon written request, a law
enforcement agency shall release the following active investigative data, as defined in
section 13.82, subdivision 7, to a victim of sexual assault about a submitted sexual assault
examination kit, as defined in section 299C.106, subdivision 1, paragraph (g):
new text end

new text begin (1) the date that a sexual assault examination kit was submitted to a forensic laboratory,
as defined in section 299C.157, subdivision 1, clause (2), and the date that the agency
received notice of the results of that testing; and
new text end

new text begin (2) whether a DNA profile was obtained from the testing.
new text end

new text begin (b) The agency may refuse the request under paragraph (a) if the release of that data will
interfere with the investigation.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Responding to a victim request for data. new text end

new text begin No later than January 1, 2018, each
law enforcement agency shall adopt policies and procedures subject to section 13.82,
subdivision 7, to provide investigative data under this section that includes but is not limited
to the following requirements:
new text end

new text begin (1) agency identification of a representative or representatives to respond to requests for
data from sexual assault victims and to serve as a liaison between the agency and the forensic
laboratory;
new text end

new text begin (2) agency response to inquiries within 30 days of receipt, unless the agency declines
to provide the information under subdivision 1, paragraph (b);
new text end

new text begin (3) the sexual assault victim can designate another person to request information on the
victim's behalf by providing written authorization to the agency except that an agency can
decline to provide the information under subdivision 1, paragraph (b); and
new text end

new text begin (4) agency development of a procedure that allows a sexual assault victim to contact the
agency representative to request that a restricted kit as defined in section 299C.106,
subdivision 1, paragraph (e), be reclassified as an unrestricted kit as defined in section
299C.106, subdivision 1, paragraph (h), if the restricted kit is in the possession of the agency.
new text end