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Idaho Governor Signs Sexual Assault Testing Bill

Lynn Peavey Company

Idaho Governor Brad Little today [Friday] signed a bill that ensures all sexual assault kits submitted to Idaho authorities will be tested.

The sponsor is Boise Democratic Representative Melissa Wintrow. She says the state crime lab has reduced a large backlog of untested kits during the last three years, thanks to the hiring of two DNA scientists in 2016. She says the new law will add another scientist to that team.

“This is about taking victims seriously and if they’re going to go through the process of taking a medical forensic exam, which is a pretty lengthy, intimate process, then you should test the evidence," Wintrow said. "I think that increases confidence in the system and if victims know I’m going to be taken seriously and you’re going to deal with this evidence, it makes it more likely that people will come forward and will seek justice.”

Wintrow says the state of Idaho has trained about 50 nurses around the state this year to collect forensic evidence of sexual assaults. She says the goal is to reduce the distance women must travel for an exam.