Florida Senate - 2020 SB 892 By Senator Berman 31-01118-20 2020892__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to sexual offenses; amending s. 3 775.15, F.S.; revising statute of limitations periods 4 for prosecution of certain sexual offenses; specifying 5 that the period for prosecution of certain sexual 6 offenses may not begin until results of specified 7 testing have been received by certain law enforcement 8 agencies; amending s. 943.326, F.S.; requiring the 9 Department of Law Enforcement to create and maintain a 10 database for tracking sexual offense evidence kits and 11 other DNA evidence; requiring the department to ensure 12 that alleged sexual assault victims and certain other 13 persons are notified of and have access to information 14 regarding such kits and evidence; providing 15 requirements for such notification; providing an 16 effective date. 17 18 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 19 20 Section 1. Subsection (14) of section 775.15, Florida 21 Statutes, is amended to read: 22 775.15 Time limitations; general time limitations; 23 exceptions.— 24 (14)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c), a prosecution 25 for a first or second degree felony violation of s. 794.011, if 26 the victim is 16 years of age or older at the time of the 27 offense and the offense is reported to a law enforcement agency 28 within 72 hours after commission of the offense, may be 29 commenced at any time. 30 (b) Except as provided in paragraph (a), paragraph (c), or 31 paragraph (13)(b), a prosecution for a first or second degree 32 felony violation of s. 794.011, if the victim is 16 years of age 33 or older at the time of the offense, must be commenced within 8 34 years after the violation is committed. This paragraph applies 35 to any such offense except an offense the prosecution of which 36 would have been barred by subsection (2) on or before July 1, 37 2015. 38 (c) Except as provided in paragraph (a), paragraph (b), or 39 paragraph (13)(b), a prosecution for a first or second degree 40 felony violation of s. 794.011 may be commenced at any time. 41 This paragraph applies to any such offense except an offense the 42 prosecution of which would have been barred on or before July 1, 43 2020. 44 (d) The applicable limitation period, if any, for 45 commencing a prosecution for a first or second degree felony 46 violation of s. 794.011 may not begin to run until the 47 processing of a sexual offense evidence kit, or other DNA 48 evidence, has been completed and the results have been received 49 by the law enforcement agency that submitted the kit or evidence 50 for processing. This paragraph applies to any such offense 51 except an offense the prosecution of which would have been 52 barred on or before July 1, 2020. 53 Section 2. Subsection (4) of section 943.326, Florida 54 Statutes, is amended to read: 55 943.326 DNA evidence collected in sexual offense 56 investigations.— 57 (4)
By January 1, 2017,The department and each laboratory 58 within the statewide criminal analysis laboratory system, in 59 coordination with the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, 60 shall adopt and disseminate guidelines and procedures for the 61 collection, submission, and testing of DNA evidence that is 62 obtained in connection with an alleged sexual offense. The 63 timely submission and testing of sexual offense evidence kits is 64 a core public safety issue. Testing of sexual offense evidence 65 kits must be completed no later than 120 days after submission 66 to a member of the statewide criminal analysis laboratory 67 system. 68 (a) The guidelines and procedures must include the 69 requirements of this section, standards for how evidence is to 70 be packaged for submission, what evidence must be submitted to a 71 member of the statewide criminal analysis laboratory system, and 72 timeframes for when the evidence must be submitted, analyzed, 73 and compared to DNA databases. 74 (b) The testing requirements of this section are satisfied 75 when a member of the statewide criminal analysis laboratory 76 system tests the contents of the sexual offense evidence kit in 77 an attempt to identify the foreign DNA attributable to a 78 suspect. If a sexual offense evidence kit is not collected, the 79 laboratory may receive and examine other items directly related 80 to the crime scene, such as clothing or bedding or personal 81 items left behind by the suspect. If probative information is 82 obtained from the testing of the sexual offense evidence kit, 83 the examination of other evidence should be based on the 84 potential evidentiary value to the case and determined through 85 cooperation among the investigating agency, the laboratory, and 86 the prosecutor. 87 (c) The department shall create and maintain a statewide 88 database to track the location, processing status, and storage 89 of sexual offense evidence kits and other DNA evidence which is 90 accessible to law enforcement agencies and alleged victims and 91 other persons listed in paragraph (1)(b). 92 (d) The department shall ensure that each alleged victim 93 and other person listed in paragraph (1)(b) is notified of and 94 has access to information regarding the alleged victim’s sexual 95 offense evidence kit or other DNA evidence, including tracking 96 information, testing information, and any DNA matches to a 97 person deemed by investigators to be a suspect or person of 98 interest. However, such notification shall state only that a DNA 99 match has occurred and may not contain any genetic or other 100 identifying information. Such notification may be delayed for up 101 to 90 days if such notification would, in the opinion of 102 investigators, negatively affect the investigation. 103 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.