§ 114-65. Statewide sexual assault evidence collection kit tracking system.
(a) Legislative Intent. - The General Assembly finds that the preservation and testing of sexual assault evidence collection kits (SAECK or "kit") are important to public safety. Timely testing is vital to solve cases, punish offenders, bring justice to victims, and prevent future crimes. It is the intent of the General Assembly that every sexual assault evidence collection kit in North Carolina be tested. Sexual assault victims deserve no less.
(b) Establishment of System. - There is established in the State Crime Laboratory the Statewide Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Tracking System (the System). All sexual assault evidence collection kits purchased or distributed under G.S. 143B-1201 on or after October 1, 2018, shall be trackable and shall comply with the requirements of the System. The Director of the State Crime Laboratory (Director) shall implement protocols and administer the System. The Secretary of the Department of Public Safety (Secretary) shall adopt rules, guidelines, and sanctions, for agencies required to participate in the System under this section. The Director shall guidelines for agencies required to participate in the System under this section. The Director shall ensure that the System protects victim information against disclosure to nonparticipating agencies. Except as otherwise required for reporting under subsection (f) of this section, information maintained in the System is confidential and not a public record as defined in G.S. 132-1.
(c) Required Participation. - All medical providers, law enforcement agencies, forensic laboratories, or other persons or entities having custody or use of any sexual assault evidence collection kit in the State shall participate in the System and comply with the established protocols, rules, and guidelines. A participating entity shall be permitted to access the entity's tracking information through the System.
(d) Victim's Access to View Status of Kit. - It is the policy of the State to ensure that a victim of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault is able to track the location of the sexual assault evidence collection kit used to conduct the victim's forensic medical examination and that the victim is also able to determine whether forensic testing of the kit has been completed.
(e) Tracking of Previously Untested Kits. - The Director shall implement protocols and the Secretary shall adopt rules and guidelines to ensure that previously untested sexual assault evidence collection kits are trackable and are entered into the System. Any law enforcement agency, medical provider, or forensic laboratory that has in its custody a previously untested sexual assault evidence collection kit used for a forensic medical examination shall comply with the established protocols, rules, and guidelines with respect to all untested kits.
For purposes of this subsection, a "previously untested sexual assault evidence collection kit" means any kit that has not undergone forensic testing and was identified and included in the 2017 statewide inventory of kits in law enforcement custody pursuant to Section 17.7 of S.L. 2017-57. To the extent practicable, and consistent with protecting victim confidentiality for unreported sexual assaults, a law enforcement agency having custody of a kit governed by this subsection shall take reasonable measures to provide appropriate tracking information to the affected victim.
(f) Annual Report to the General Assembly. - Beginning October 1, 2019, and annually thereafter, the Director shall report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety the following information for the previous fiscal year:
(1) The number of tracking-enabled kits shipped to medical facilities or medical providers.
(2) The number of tracking-enabled kits used by medical facilities or medical providers to conduct forensic medical examinations of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault victims.
(3) Of the tracking-enabled kits used by medical facilities or medical providers to conduct forensic medical examinations, the number of kits for which a sexual assault has been reported to law enforcement, sorted by law enforcement agency.
(4) Of the tracking-enabled kits generated for reported cases, the number of kits submitted to a laboratory for forensic testing.
(5) Of the tracking-enabled kits submitted for forensic testing, the number of kits for which forensic testing has been completed.
(6) The number of tracking-enabled kits for which a sexual assault has not been reported, including the total submitted to local law enforcement and the total submitted to Department of Public Safety Law Enforcement Support Services.
(7) Information regarding efforts to track and test previously untested kits described in subsection (e) of this section. (2018-70, s. 1.)