Rights bill advances for West Virginia sex assault victims

West Virginia Headlines

West Virginia’s Senate has unanimously voted to establish rights for sex assault victims that include having someone accompany them to medical exams, having their rape kits tested and preserved and being able to check on the kits’ status.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Trump says victims have a right to know.

DNA is collected in the kits and can be compared with other collected DNA, including data records of felons’ genetic profiles.

Sen. Mike Woelfel, a former prosecutor and juvenile court referee, says victims currently aren’t treated well in West Virginia and the State Police lab is taking 440 days on average to process rape kits.

He introduced another bill, pending in committee, to authorize a state commission to set protocols and time frames for processing kits.

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