Bill Text: TX HB166 | 2017 | 85th Legislature 1st Special Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the collection, storage, and analysis of sexual assault evidence and evidence of other sex offenses.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2017-07-26 - Left pending in committee [HB166 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-HB166-Introduced.html
  85S10378 LHC-D
 
  By: Minjarez H.B. No. 166
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the collection, storage, and analysis of sexual assault
  evidence and evidence of other sex offenses.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 420, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 420.035 to read as follows:
         Sec. 420.035.  EVIDENCE RELEASE AND STORAGE. (a) If a
  health care facility or other entity that performs a medical
  examination to collect evidence of a sexual assault or other sex
  offense receives signed, written consent to release the evidence as
  provided by Section 420.0735, the facility or entity shall notify
  either the law enforcement agency investigating the alleged sexual
  assault or other sex offense, if known, or the local law enforcement
  agency not later than 24 hours after receiving consent.
         (b)  A law enforcement agency that receives notice from a
  health care facility or other entity under Subsection (a) shall
  take possession of the evidence not later than the 14th day after
  the date the law enforcement agency receives notice.
         (c)  If a law enforcement agency that takes possession of
  evidence under Subsection (b) determines that the agency does not
  have jurisdiction over the investigation of the alleged sexual
  assault or other sex offense, the law enforcement agency shall
  notify the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the
  investigation not later than the 14th day after the date that
  determination is made.
         (d)  A law enforcement agency that receives notice under
  Subsection (c) shall take possession of the evidence not later than
  the 14th day after the date the law enforcement agency receives
  notice.
         (e)  A health care facility or other entity that performs a
  medical examination to collect evidence of a sexual assault or
  other sex offense that has not obtained signed, written consent as
  provided by Section 420.0735 shall provide the survivor with
  information relating to:
               (1)  the facility's or entity's evidence storage policy
  for evidence of a sexual assault or other sex offense, including a
  statement of the period for which the evidence will be stored before
  the evidence is destroyed; and
               (2)  the ways in which the survivor can release the
  evidence to a law enforcement agency.
         (f)  A health care facility or other entity that performs a
  medical examination must store evidence of a sexual assault or
  other sex offense that is not released to a law enforcement agency
  until at least the first anniversary of the date the evidence was
  collected.
         (g)  The failure of a health care facility or other entity or
  a law enforcement agency to comply with the requirements of this
  section does not constitute grounds in a criminal proceeding for:
               (1)  a defendant to challenge the validity of a DNA
  match obtained by comparison under Section 420.043; or
               (2)  a court to exclude DNA evidence.
         (h)  A person accused or convicted of committing a sexual
  assault or other sex offense against the survivor does not have
  standing to object to the failure of a health care facility or other
  entity or a law enforcement agency to comply with the requirements
  of this section. Failure of a facility, entity, or agency to comply
  with the requirements of this section does not constitute grounds
  for setting aside the conviction of a person convicted of
  committing a sexual assault or other sex offense against the
  survivor. 
         SECTION 2.  Section 420.042, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a), (c), and (e) and adding Subsections (f)
  and (g) to read as follows:
         (a)  A law enforcement agency that receives sexual assault
  evidence or evidence of another sex offense collected under this
  chapter or other law shall assign a unique number to the evidence
  and shall submit that evidence to a public accredited crime
  laboratory for analysis not later than the 14th [30th] day after the
  date on which that evidence was received. Evidence submitted to a
  public accredited crime laboratory under this subsection must
  include the unique number assigned to the evidence by the agency. 
         (c)  If sufficient personnel and resources are available, a
  public accredited crime laboratory, as soon as practicable but not
  later than the 60th day after the date on which the laboratory
  received the evidence, shall complete its analysis of [sexual
  assault] evidence submitted under this chapter or other law.
         (e)  The failure of a law enforcement agency to take
  possession of sexual assault evidence or evidence of another sex
  offense within the period required by Section 420.035 or to submit
  that [sexual assault] evidence within the period required by this
  section does not affect the authority of:
               (1)  the agency to take possession of the evidence;
               (2)  the agency to submit the evidence to an accredited
  crime laboratory for analysis; [or]
               (3) [(2)]  an accredited crime laboratory to analyze
  the evidence or provide the results of that analysis to appropriate
  persons; or 
               (4)  the department to compare the DNA profile obtained
  from the biological evidence with DNA profiles in a database under
  Section 420.043.
         (f)  The failure of a law enforcement agency or public
  accredited crime laboratory to comply with the requirements of this
  section does not constitute grounds in a criminal proceeding for:
               (1)  the defendant to challenge the validity of a DNA
  match obtained by comparison under Section 420.043; or
               (2)  a court to exclude DNA evidence.
         (g)  A person accused or convicted of committing a sexual
  assault or other sex offense against the survivor does not have
  standing to object to the failure of a law enforcement agency or
  public accredited crime laboratory to comply with the requirements
  of this section. Failure of an agency or laboratory to comply with
  the requirements of this section does not constitute grounds for
  setting aside the conviction of a person convicted of committing a
  sexual assault or other sex offense against the survivor.
         SECTION 3.  Section 420.043, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 420.043.  DATABASE COMPARISON REQUIRED. After [On the
  request of any appropriate person and after] an evidence collection
  kit containing biological evidence has been analyzed by an
  accredited crime laboratory and any necessary quality assurance
  reviews have been performed, the department shall compare the DNA
  profile obtained from the biological evidence with DNA profiles
  maintained in:
               (1)  state databases, including the DNA database
  maintained under Subchapter G, Chapter 411, if the amount and
  quality of the analyzed sample meet the requirements of the state
  database comparison policies; and
               (2)  the CODIS DNA database established by the Federal
  Bureau of Investigation, if the amount and quality of the analyzed
  sample meet the requirements of the bureau's CODIS comparison
  policies.
         SECTION 4.  (a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) and
  (c) of this section, the changes in law made by this Act apply only
  to sexual assault evidence and evidence of other sex offenses
  collected on or after the effective date of this Act. Evidence
  collected before the effective date of this Act is governed by the
  law in effect on the date the evidence was collected, and the former
  law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         (b)  The change in law made by this Act to Section
  420.042(a), Government Code, applies only to sexual assault
  evidence and evidence of other sex offenses received by a law
  enforcement agency not earlier than the 14th day before the
  effective date of this Act.  Evidence received by a law enforcement
  agency earlier than the 14th day before the effective date of this
  Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the evidence was
  received, and the former law is continued in effect for that
  purpose.
         (c)  The change in law made by this Act by amending Section
  420.042(c), Government Code, applies only to sexual assault
  evidence and evidence of other sex offenses received by a public
  accredited crime laboratory on or after the effective date of this
  Act.  Evidence received by a public accredited crime laboratory
  before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in
  effect on the date the evidence was received, and the former law is
  continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect December 1, 2017.
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