Does Maine law require...
An Audit of Untested Rape Kits?
Tracking of Rape Kits?
Testing of all backlogged rape kits?
Testing of all rape kits in the future?
Victims to be notified of the status of their cases?
Funding for testing kits?
The extent of the untested rape kit backlog in Maine is unknown. Maine law does not require law enforcement agencies to count, track, or test rape kits.
In 2017, Maine legislators introduced multiple rape kit reform bills:
- L.D. 142, which would require the State Police to establish a statewide sexual assault kit tracking system, which survivors of sexual assault must be able to access on an anonymous and secure basis. The State Police must also issue biannual reports of the number of kits entered into the system, the average and median length of time kits await analysis, and the number of kits that have remained untested for longer than one year.
- L.D. 169, which would grant survivors the right to be informed of the status of their rape kits; require law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to notify survivors at least 60 days in advance of planned kit destruction; and require law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to retain all rape kits for the duration of the statute of limitations, or longer upon survivor request.
- L.D. 859, which would require the State Police lab to process each kit within 180 days of receipt. The bill also requires the State Police to report annually on the number and status of the rape kits in their custody.
- L.D. 1128, which would require the establishment of a committee to study the use and processing of rape kits across the state.
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