After numerous stories of rape kits getting lost and the backlog of processing Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell decided to make the system more accountable with legislation to create a tracking system for the kits. Senate Bill 169 establishes a database system so victims can follow where their kits are in the process.
“When a victim goes through a sexual assault and goes for the forensic medical exam that from that point on, we can locate that rape kit,” said Mizell.
In addition to creating accountability for the vital piece of evidence, Mizell said the tracking process will place Louisiana in the ranking of 40 other states who have similar mechanisms.
“We are outliers, as we are in many things, but we’re outliers in the way we handle rape kits and sexual assaults from that point,” said Mizell.
Ponchatoula Representative Bill Wheat thanked Mizell for bringing attention to the matter and sponsoring legislation to create a tracking system.
“Victims of this horrible crime of rape have lots of things to worry about in life and one of them should not be what happened to the evidence,” said Wheat.
The bill has passed in the Senate and heads to the full House for final passage.