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Senator Stewart, District 17 — Press Release


January 10, 2024

CONTACT: Travis Flinn, 850-487-5017

Retention Of Sexual Offense Evidence Bill By Senator Stewart Unanimously Passes Through First Committee

Tallahassee, FL – Today, bill SB 764, sponsored by Senator Linda Stewart (D – Orlando) and pertaining to the retention of sexual offense evidence, passed unanimously through its first committee. The bill will be heard next in the Senate in the Appropriations Committee on Criminal and Civil Justice.


Currently, DNA evidence collected in sexual offense investigations must be submitted to a statewide criminal analysis laboratory system for forensic testing within 30 days after receipt by law enforcement, or after a request for testing is made by either the involved medical provider or law enforcement agency.


SB 764, which was requested by FDLE, builds on this existing system by allowing for DNA evidence to be safely retained for 8 years after collection in the event that the victim has chosen not to make a report to law enforcement. This evidence must be stored anonymously with a documented chain of custody, allowing the victim time to choose to report.


“Sometimes, you don’t want anyone to know what has happened to you. In the event that a victim has decided they want to prosecute in the future, there will be evidence that they can go back to for prosecution. Nobody will know the name of who that evidence is being kept for, and the chain of custody will be secure for any victim seeking justice” said Stewart.