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SB-296 Victims of crime.(1991-1992)

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SB296:v91#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 296
CHAPTER 502

An act to add Sections 293 and 293.5 to the Penal Code, relating to victims of crimes.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  August 17, 1992. Approved by Governor  August 16, 1992. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 296, Torres. Victims of crime.
Under existing law, the California Public Records Act, records of state and local agencies are required generally to be open to public inspection. Under these provisions, state and local law enforcement agencies are required to make public certain information, including the names, ages, and current addresses of victims, except the addresses of victims of certain specified crimes.
This bill would provide, among other things, that any employee of a law enforcement agency who personally receives a report from any person, alleging that the person making the report has been the victim of a sex offense, as specified, shall inform the person reporting that his or her name will become a matter of public record unless he or she requests that it not become a matter of public record pursuant to the California Public Records Act. In addition, the bill would prohibit the disclosure of the address of the victim of any sex crime, as specified.
Existing law sets forth rules of pleading in criminal cases.
Existing law, an initiative statute, also sets forth mutual discovery procedures between parties in criminal actions. Among other things, the procedures require the prosecuting attorney to disclose to the defendant or his or her attorney the names and addresses of persons the prosecutor intends to call as witnesses at trial. The procedures specify, however, that no attorney may disclose or permit to be disclosed to a defendant the address and telephone number of a victim or witness whose name is disclosed unless specifically permitted to do so by the court after a hearing and a showing of good cause.
The bill would provide that, except as required by these provisions or by the provisions of this bill, the court, at the request of the alleged victim, may order the identity of the alleged victim in all records and during all proceedings to be either Jane Doe or John Doe, if the court finds that such an order is reasonably necessary to protect the privacy of the person and will not unduly prejudice the prosecution or the defense.
The bill also would provide that if the court orders the alleged victim to be identified as Jane Doe or John Doe and if there is a jury trial, the court shall instruct the jury, at the beginning and at the end of the trial, that the alleged victim is being so identified only for the purpose of protecting his or her privacy pursuant to this section.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 293 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

293.
 (a)  Any employee of a law enforcement agency who personally receives a report from any person, alleging that the person making the report has been the victim of a sex offense, shall inform that person that his or her name will become a matter of public record unless he or she requests that it not become a matter of public record, pursuant to Section 6254 of the Government Code.
(b)  Any written report of an alleged sex offense shall indicate that the alleged victim has been properly informed pursuant to subdivision (a) and shall memorialize his or her response.
(c)  No law enforcement agency shall disclose to any person, except the prosecutor, the address of a person who alleges to be the victim of a sex offense.
(d)  No law enforcement agency shall disclose to any person, except the prosecutor, the name of a person who alleges to be the victim of a sex offense, if that person has elected to exercise his or her right pursuant to this section and Section 6254 of the Government Code.
(e)  For purposes of this section, sex offense means any crime listed in paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 6254 of the Government Code which is also defined in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 261) or Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 281) of Part 1 of Title 9.

SEC. 2.

 Section 293.5 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

293.5.
 (a)  Except as provided in Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 1054) of Part 2 of Title 7, or for cases in which the alleged victim of a sex offense, as specified in subdivision (e) of Section 293, has not elected to exercise his or her right pursuant to Section 6254 of the Government Code, the court, at the request of the alleged victim, may order the identity of the alleged victim in all records and during all proceedings to be either Jane Doe or John Doe, if the court finds that such an order is reasonably necessary to protect the privacy of the person and will not unduly prejudice the prosecution or the defense.
(b)  If the court orders the alleged victim to be identified as Jane Doe or John Doe pursuant to subdivision (a) and if there is a jury trial, the court shall instruct the jury, at the beginning and at the end of the trial, that the alleged victim is being so identified only for the purpose of protecting his or her privacy pursuant to this section.