Florida Senate - 2022                                     SB 660
       By Senator Cruz
       18-00422-22                                            2022660__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to sexual offense victim rights;
    3         amending s. 943.326, F.S.; requiring the Department of
    4         Law Enforcement to create statewide policies and
    5         procedures regarding contact with alleged victims, or
    6         their representatives, concerning sexual offense
    7         evidence kits; requiring the department to ensure that
    8         law enforcement agencies adopt the statewide policies
    9         and procedures; specifying requirements for the
   10         policies and procedures; requiring that each alleged
   11         victim of a sexual offense be notified of specified
   12         rights; providing an effective date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Present subsection (5) of section 943.326,
   17  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (6), a new
   18  subsection (5) is added to that section, and paragraph (f) is
   19  added to subsection (4) of that section, to read:
   20         943.326 DNA evidence collected in sexual offense
   21  investigations.—
   22         (4) The department and each laboratory within the statewide
   23  criminal analysis laboratory system, in coordination with the
   24  Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, shall adopt and
   25  disseminate guidelines and procedures for the collection,
   26  submission, and testing of DNA evidence that is obtained in
   27  connection with an alleged sexual offense. The timely submission
   28  and testing of sexual offense evidence kits is a core public
   29  safety issue. Testing of sexual offense evidence kits must be
   30  completed no later than 120 days after submission to a member of
   31  the statewide criminal analysis laboratory system.
   32         (f) The department shall create statewide policies and
   33  procedures regarding contact with an alleged victim or, if
   34  applicable, the person representing the alleged victim under
   35  subparagraph (1)(b)2. or subparagraph (1)(b)3. concerning sexual
   36  offense evidence kits and shall ensure that each law enforcement
   37  agency adopts such policies and procedures. The policies and
   38  procedures must be trauma-informed and survivor-focused and must
   39  require:
   40         1.Each law enforcement agency to designate at least one
   41  person trained in trauma and victim response to receive all
   42  inquiries concerning sexual offense evidence kits and to serve
   43  as a liaison between the law enforcement agency and the alleged
   44  victim or the alleged victim’s representative.
   45         2.Alleged victims of a sexual offense be provided with the
   46  contact information for the designated liaison at the time that
   47  a sexual offense evidence kit is collected.
   48         3.In advance of or at the beginning of a medical forensic
   49  examination or a law enforcement interview, that medical
   50  professionals, victim advocates, law enforcement officers, or
   51  prosecutors provide the alleged victim with a victim’s rights
   52  information card or brochure as required under s. 960.001, which
   53  must also contain the rights granted under this section. This
   54  card or brochure must be available, at a minimum, in English,
   55  Spanish, and Creole.
   56         (5)Each alleged victim of a sexual offense shall be
   57  notified of her or his right to:
   58         (a)Consult with a sexual offense victim advocate who can
   59  provide confidentiality and privileged communications, and that
   60  waiving the right to a victim advocate in one instance does not
   61  negate this right. The medical facility, law enforcement
   62  officer, or prosecutor shall inform the alleged victim of this
   63  right in advance of or at the beginning of a medical forensic
   64  examination or law enforcement interview, and the examination or
   65  interview may not continue unless the alleged victim knowingly
   66  and voluntarily waives this right.
   67         (b)Be informed, upon request, of the location, testing
   68  date, and testing results of a sexual offense evidence kit;
   69  whether a DNA profile was obtained from the sexual offense
   70  evidence kit; whether there are matches to DNA profiles in state
   71  or federal databases; and the estimated destruction date for the
   72  sexual offense evidence kit, all in a manner of communication
   73  designated by the alleged victim.
   74         (c)Be informed when there is any change in the status of
   75  the alleged victim’s case, including if the case has been closed
   76  or reopened.
   77         (d)Receive written notification, upon request, from the
   78  appropriate official with custody of an alleged victim’s sexual
   79  offense evidence kit not later than 60 days before the date of
   80  the intended destruction or disposal.
   81         (e)Be granted further preservation of the sexual offense
   82  evidence kit or its probative contents.
   83         (f)Designate a person of the alleged victim’s choosing to
   84  act as a recipient of the information provided under this
   85  subsection.
   86         (g)Be informed about how to file a report with law
   87  enforcement and have the sexual offense evidence kit tested in
   88  the future if the alleged victim chose not to file a report when
   89  the sexual offense evidence kit was first collected.
   90         (h)Be informed about the right to apply for victim
   91  compensation.
   92         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.