Protections adopted for victims of sexual assault

The Legislature passed a bill July 31 that creates a sexual assault victim’s bill of rights.

Sen. Kate Bolz
Sen. Kate Bolz

Under LB43, sponsored by Lincoln Sen. Kate Bolz, a victim of sexual assault is guaranteed the right to privileged consultation with a sexual assault advocate during any physical examination or interview by a peace officer, prosecutor or defense attorney. However, the advocate cannot consult with or provide legal advice to the victim.

Any medical professional, peace officer, prosecutor or defense attorney is required to provide a victim with written documentation of his or her rights before conducting an initial physical examination or interview. A victim has the right to be interviewed by a peace officer of the gender of his or her choosing, if the request can be accommodated reasonably.

LB43 also requires a medical provider who conducts a physical exam after a sexual assault to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency, which will be required to retain any forensic evidence for 20 years.

Evidence collected from a sexual assault physical examination cannot be used to prosecute a survivor for any misdemeanor crimes or offenses under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

Senators passed the bill 43-0.

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