Ga. Code § 17-5-74

Current through 2023-2024 Legislative Session Chapters 1-597, 604, 609, 612, 696, 697
Section 17-5-74 - Unreported sexual assault kits; definitions; state-wide tracking system; requirements; implementation; reporting; jurisdiction; liability; regulatory authority
(a) For the purposes of this Code section, the term "unreported sexual assault kit" means a sexual assault kit collected from a victim who has consented to the collection of the sexual assault kit but who has not reported the alleged crime to law enforcement.
(b) The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council shall create and operate a state-wide sexual assault kit tracking system. The council may contract with state or nonstate entities including, but not limited to, private software and technology providers, for the creation, operation, and maintenance of the system.
(c) The state-wide sexual assault kit tracking system shall:
(1) Track the location and status of sexual assault kits throughout the criminal justice process, including the initial collection in sexual assault forensic examinations performed at medical facilities, receipt and storage at law enforcement agencies, receipt and analysis at forensic laboratories, and storage and any destruction after completion of analysis;
(2) Designate sexual assault kits as unreported or reported;
(3) Allow medical facilities performing sexual assault forensic examinations, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, the Division of Forensic Sciences of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and other entities having custody of sexual assault kits to update and track the status and location of sexual assault kits;
(4) Allow victims of sexual assault to anonymously track or receive updates regarding the status of their sexual assault kits; and
(5) Use electronic technology or technologies allowing continuous access.
(d) The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council may use a phased implementation process in order to launch the sexual assault kit tracking system and facilitate entry and use of the system for required participants. The council may phase initial participation according to region, volume, or other appropriate classifications. All law enforcement agencies and other entities having custody of sexual assault kits shall register for and utilize the system in order to fully participate no later than July 1, 2022. The council shall submit a report on the current status and plan for launching the system, including the plan for phased implementation, to the appropriate committees of the legislature and the Governor no later than January 1, 2022.
(e) The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council shall submit a report on the state-wide sexual assault kit tracking system to the appropriate committees of the legislature and the Governor. The council shall publish the current report on its website. The first report shall be submitted on or before December 31, 2022, and subsequent reports are to be submitted on or before December 31 of each year. Each report shall include the following:
(1) The number of sexual assault kits used by collection sites to conduct forensic medical examinations of assault victims;
(2) Of the sexual assault kits used by collection sites to conduct forensic medical examinations, the number of sexual assault kits for which a sexual assault has been reported to law enforcement, sorted by law enforcement agency;
(3) The average time for each law enforcement agency to collect reported sexual assault kits from collection sites;
(4) Of the sexual assault kits generated for reported cases, the number of sexual assault kits submitted to a laboratory for forensic testing;
(5) Of the sexual assault kits submitted for forensic testing, the number of kits for which forensic testing has been completed;
(6) The number of sexual assault kits for which a sexual assault has not been reported to law enforcement; and
(7) The jurisdictions in which reported sexual assault kits have not been submitted to the Division of Forensic Services of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in accordance with Code Section 35-1-2.
(f) For the purpose of reports submitted under subsection (e) of this Code section, a sexual assault kit shall be assigned to the jurisdiction associated with the law enforcement agency anticipated to receive the sexual assault kit or otherwise having custody of the sexual assault kit.
(g) Any public agency or entity, including its officials and employees, and any hospital and its employees providing services to victims of sexual assault shall not be held civilly liable for damages arising from any release of information or the failure to release information related to the state-wide sexual assault kit tracking system, so long as the release was without gross negligence.
(h) The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council shall adopt rules as necessary to implement this Code section.

OCGA § 17-5-74

Added by 2021 Ga. Laws 251,§ 4, eff. 7/1/2021.