- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The Latest on the rape kit legislation that cleared the Idaho Legislature (all times local):

4 p.m.

Democratic Rep. Melissa Wintrow, who first introduced the statewide rape kit testing bill earlier this session, is criticizing an Idaho sheriff’s remarks downplaying the truth in most rape accusations.

“The unfortunate and potentially unintentional consequences of making statements like that will inhibit other people moving forward and may impact the perception of his agency,” Wintrow said Tuesday shortly after being made aware of the sheriff’s comments.

Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland told an Idaho Falls TV station on Monday that most reported rapes in his region are “actually consensual sex.”

Wintrow countered that FBI statistics show only 33 percent of people who experience rape report the crime. She added that rape disproportionally affects women.


2:45 p.m.

An Idaho sheriff says the Legislature shouldn’t have gotten involved in creating a statewide system for collecting and tracking rape kits because many rape accusations are false.

Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland made the comments to Idaho Falls TV station KIDK on Monday before lawmakers unanimously approved the new system and sent the measure to the governor.

The bill would require medical clinics to use rape kits to collect forensic evidence after a suspected sexual assault. The clinics would then have to send the evidence for DNA testing, unless the victim requests otherwise or law enforcement agencies get prosecutors’ approval to not test the kits.

Rowland says legislators should let law officers decide which rape kits need testing.

He says: “The majority of our rapes - not to say that we don’t have rapes, we do - but the majority of our rapes that are called in, are actually consensual sex.”

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has not said whether he’ll sign the bill.


11:30 a.m.

Legislation that would create a statewide system of collecting and tracking rape kits in Idaho is headed to the governor’s desk after receiving unanimous support in the state Legislature.

The proposal easily cleared the Senate on Tuesday, which means it just now needs Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s signature to become law.

The bill would ensure medical clinics will use rape kits to collect forensic evidence after a suspected sexual assault. The bill also ensures that clinics will send that evidence for DNA testing unless the victim requests otherwise. However, if a law enforcement agency did not want to send a kit to be tested, a county prosecutor would need to sign off on the request.

Rape kits contain samples of semen, saliva or blood taken from a victim during a lengthy and invasive examination. Specimens containing DNA evidence are uploaded to a national database to check for a match.

Currently, enforcement agencies are in charge of determining if a kit should be tested.

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