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Iowa Legislature sends rape-kit tracking bill, several others to Gov. Reynolds

Reynolds

DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Iowa Senate unanimously approved several bills Wednesday night, including establishing a rape-kit tracking system, sending them to Governor Kim Reynolds for her approval.

House File 426, which was also unanimously approved by the Iowa House, establishes funding to track sexual abuse evidence collection kits, which is critical in the prosecution of sexual abusers. The system will track rape kits from evidence collection at a hospital, to law enforcement, to the crime lab for analysis, and then back to law enforcement.

Victims will also be notified before a kit can be disposed of, The system will also allow sexual assault victims to anonymously track their kit.

The money to fund the system will come from criminal fines and penalties, a percentage of the earnings of inmates employed in the private sector, and federal funds.

Senators also unanimously approved House File 603, will establish a sexual assault forensic examiner program within the Department of Justice. It will maintain a list of examiners and nurse examiners who are trained on sexual assault forensic examiner education guidelines. It will also train, certify and provide technical assistance to examiners and nurse examiners.

House File 233, which provides civil remedies for the unauthorized disclosure of private, sexually explicit images without the consent of a person in the images, was unanimously approved as well.

The bill only applies to sensitive content in which the individual had a reasonable expectation of privacy. It includes limited exceptions for certain disclosures, including in the course of law enforcement and legal proceedings or education, medical treatment, or investigations of misconduct.

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