[Press.Release] Sex Assault Victims Not Required to Pay for Forensic Exam

press.release at cdps-l.state.co.us press.release at cdps-l.state.co.us
Tue Jul 26 14:47:45 MDT 2011


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
26 JULY 2011
CONTACT: Nancy Feldman, Division of Criminal Justice, 303-239-4437
Department of Public Safety


The Division of Criminal Justice today reminds Coloradans that, under a law passed by the General Assembly in 2008, victims of sexual assault are not required to pay for a forensic examination administered by medical professionals, regardless whether the victim agrees to participate in a criminal investigation, says Nancy Feldman, Director of the Office for Victims Programs in the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice.

Recent news stories alleging rape by a professional football player cited an affidavit in which the victim of a sexual assault last year was told that she would have to pay $500 to cover the cost of the forensic examination. Due at least partially to the cost, the victim declined to get a forensic examination on the day after the attack when she sought medical attention. She was not provided with  an exam, according to court documents, because she initially declined to file a police report. The victim later decided to participate in the investigation, and an arrest warrant was issued for the alleged attacker in December 2010.

"Victims of sexual assault should never be asked to pay for a forensic examination, even if the victim does not immediately decide to pursue charges," says Feldman. "That's the reason this law was passed, and the Division of Criminal Justice diligently tries to educate citizens, agencies in the criminal justice system and health care professionals."

The  cost of the forensic examination is covered by the investigating law enforcement agency. A fund administered by the Division of Criminal Justice covers the cost of the forensic exam in situations when the victim does not want immediately to have law enforcement involved..

For more information about the statute: http://dcj.state.co.us/ovp/Forensic%20Exams.html

--30--

Lance Clem
Public Information Officer
Executive Director's Office
Colorado Department of Public Safety
700 Kipling St.
Lakewood, Colorado 80215
303-239-4415
303-842-9344 (cell)


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