New state laws should ensure that evidence in sexual assault cases is processed promptly. At Monday’s bill signing, Attorney General Josh Kaul says a backlog of sexual assault kits led to the bipartisan legislation.
“One of the things that has happened since the backlog was discovered is that there has been a lot of analysis done by several of the folks in this room, to identify exactly what led to the backlog, and how we can prevent it from ever happening again,” Kaul said.
Governor Tony Evers signed a bill requiring medical professionals to notify law enforcement of a sexual assault within 24 hours if the victim wishes to do so. Police must pick up sexual assault kits within 72 hours of being notified. If victims don’t want to report an assault, the kits must be sent to the State Crime Lab for storage. A second measure Evers signed creates a database of sexual assault kits.
Evers noted the bipartisan efforts that went into both bills. “It does happen. Would we like to have it happen more often? Hell yes. Would we like to have it happen in a way that people aren’t denigrating each other? Hell yes. But the fact of the matter is we do accomplish a lot in many areas.”