Sexual assault victims’ rights

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard SB 146 authored by Sens. Doriot, Ruckelshaus, and Merritt regarding sexual assault victims’ rights. The bill provides rights to sexual assault victims, including the right to: (1) have a sexual assault counselor present before or during a forensic medical exam or an interview with a law enforcement officer or a defense attorney; (2) the collection of sexual assault forensic evidence; (3) the analysis of the sexual assault forensic evidence; and (4) notice. 

The bill was amended by consent to define “State sexual assault response team” and add the requirement that State sexual assault response teams develop a victim notification form that notifies an alleged sexual assault victim of his or her rights under the law.   

The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, Indiana State Nurses Association, and two sexual assault victims testified in support of the bill.  The Indiana Public Defender Council testified in opposition to part of the bill that required defense attorneys to inform sexual assault victims of certain rights before conducting an interview.  The Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking testified but remained neutral.  The amended bill passed 6-1.  

Read the bill at: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/senate/146.