Today's Law As Amended

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AB-358 Sexual assault forensic examination kits: databases.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.

 Section 680.3 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

680.3.
 (a) Each law enforcement agency that has investigated a case involving the collection of sexual assault kit evidence shall, within 120 days of collection, create an information profile for the kit on the Department of Justice’s SAFE-T database  database, if one does not already exist,  and report the following:
(1) If biological evidence samples from the kit were submitted to a DNA laboratory for analysis.
(2) If the kit generated a probative DNA profile.
(3) If evidence was not submitted to a DNA laboratory for processing, the reason or reasons for not submitting evidence from the kit to a DNA laboratory for processing.
(b) After 120 days following submission of rape kit biological evidence for processing, if a public DNA laboratory has not conducted DNA testing, that laboratory shall provide the reasons for the status in the appropriate SAFE-T data field. If the investigating law enforcement agency has contracted with a private laboratory to conduct DNA testing on rape kit evidence, the submitting law enforcement agency shall provide the 120-day update in SAFE-T. The process described in this subdivision shall take place every 120 days until DNA testing occurs, except as provided in subdivision (c).
(c) Upon expiration of a sexual assault case’s statute of limitations, or if a law enforcement agency elects not to analyze the DNA or intends to destroy or dispose of the crime scene evidence pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 680, the investigating law enforcement agency shall state in writing the reason the kit collected as part of that case’s investigation was not analyzed. This written statement relieves the investigating law enforcement agency or public laboratory of any further duty to report information related to that kit pursuant to this section.
(d) The SAFE-T database shall not contain any identifying information about a victim or a suspect, shall not contain any DNA profiles, and shall not contain any information that would impair a pending criminal investigation.
(e) On an annual basis, the Department of Justice shall file a report to the Legislature in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code summarizing data entered into the SAFE-T database during that year. The report shall not reference individual victims, suspects, investigations, or prosecutions. The report shall be made public by the department.
(f) Except as provided in subdivision (e), in order to protect the confidentiality of the SAFE-T database information, SAFE-T database contents shall be confidential, and a participating law enforcement agency or laboratory shall not be compelled in a criminal or civil proceeding, except as required by Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83, to provide any SAFE-T database contents to a person or party seeking those records or information.
(g) The requirements of this section shall only apply to sexual assault evidence kit evidence collected on or after January 1, 2018.

SEC. 2.

 Section 680.5 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

680.5.
 (a) (1) Each city, county, city and county, or state laboratory that participates in CODIS shall, upon notification by the department that a CODIS hit has occurred for forensic evidence collected from a sexual assault kit, enter into the CHOP database the information required by the department.
(2) On a schedule set by the department and pursuant to instructions published by the department, each law enforcement agency in California that is responsible for the investigation or prosecution of a sexual assault case that involves a DNA match to a California offender shall report to the department, through the CHOP database, the status and outcome of that investigative lead.
(b) (1) Information collected by the department pursuant to this section is investigatory in nature and is official information, subject to the disclosure protections of Sections 1040 and 1041 of the Evidence Code.
(2) This section does not require the department or local law enforcement to disclose any information protected under Section 1040 or 1041 of the Evidence Code or Section 6254 of the Government Code.
(c) For purposes of this title, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “CODIS” means the California Combined DNA Index System.
(2) “CHOP database” means the CODIS Hit Outcome Project database, managed and administered by the Department of Justice.
(3) “Department” means the Department of Justice.
(4) “SAFE-T database” means the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Tracking database managed and administered by the Department of Justice.
(5) “Unique identifier” means a numeric or alphanumeric string that is associated with a single entity within a given system, such as a barcode.
(d) (1) The Department of Justice shall annually report to the Governor and the Legislature, in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code, summarizing data on sexual assault kits. The report shall not reference individual victims, suspects, investigations, or prosecutions. The report shall be made public by the Department of Justice.
(2) The report shall include, but not be limited to, the number of sexual assault kits tested, the number of DNA matches, the number of arrests made, and the number of cases in which the victim elected not to report a crime.
(3) Data shall be reported by county and statewide.

SEC. 3.

 Section 680.6 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

680.6.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Justice modernize sexual assault evidence supply chain tracking and maintain a statewide sexual assault kit tracking system.
(b) The Department of Justice shall create a statewide sexual assault kit tracking system that shall accomplish all of the following goals:
(1) The system shall be designed to allow the tracking of the location and status of sexual assault kits throughout the criminal justice process, including the initial collection in examinations performed at medical facilities, receipt and storage at law enforcement agencies, receipt and analysis at forensic laboratories, and storage after completion of analysis.
(2) The system shall allow qualified health care providers performing sexual assault forensic examinations, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, crime laboratories, and other entities in the custody of sexual assault kits to update the status and location of sexual assault kits.
(3) (A) The system shall allow victims of sexual assault to anonymously track or receive updates regarding the status and location of their sexual assault kits, and use electronic technology or technologies allowing continuous access.
(B) Survivors shall be given unique login information to access the status and location of their sexual assault kit at the discretion of the appropriate qualified health care provider or law enforcement agency personnel.
(4) Destruction of a sexual assault kit shall be documented in the system.
(5) Tracking shall begin when a sexual assault evidence kit is initially entered into the tracking system.
(6) Sexual assault kits not bearing a tracking system unique identifier, located at hospitals and law enforcement agencies, shall be provided a unique identifier. The identifier shall be affixed to the sexual assault kit and entered for use by the tracking system.
(7) To ensure proper tracking of the sexual assault evidence kits, the affixed unique identifier shall be readable.
(8) The tracking system shall not provide historical data for existing sexual assault kits prior to the initial entry.
(c) (1) The department may use a phased implementation process in order to launch the system and facilitate entry and use of the system for required participants. The department may phase initial participation according to region, volume, or other appropriate classifications. All entities in the custody of sexual assault kits shall fully participate in the system no later than July 1, 2023.
(2) The department shall submit a report on the current status and plan for launching the system, including the plan for phased implementation, to the Legislature on or before July 1, 2021.
(3) A report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (2) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(d) Subdivision (b) does not require the tracking system to provide real-time location data or to record when kits leave a destination. Kits shall be entered into the tracking system upon arrival at their intended destination.
(e) It is the intent of the Legislature that the use of the tracking system shall not alter the existing chain of custody systems, processes, procedures, rules, regulations, or legal requirements of any participating entity.
(f) It is the intent of the Legislature that this section does not provide grounds to challenge the admissibility of DNA evidence in court proceedings. Nothing in this section is intended to create a private right of action or claim on the part of any individual, entity, or agency against any city, county, or state law enforcement agency.
(g) It is further the intent of the Legislature that the department integrate the electronic sexual assault reporting form and the tracking database to provide a report to qualified health care providers with data on the following:
(1) The number of hits that were generated from the examination performed by a given qualified health care provider.
(2) The number of hits generated by a given specimen type.
(3) The number of hits generated by a given location from which the specimen was collected.
(4) The number of hits that were matched to an individual in CODIS.
(5) The number of hits that were matched to an anonymous serial profile in CODIS.
SEC. 4.
 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.