AB 18 (Lackey) – Support

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CRIME VICTIMS UNITED
The Voice for Victims and Public Safety

March 16, 2021

Assemblyman Tom Lackey
State Capitol
Room 2174
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: ASSEMBLY BILL 18 (Lackey)

Dear Assemblyman Lackey,

Crime Victims United is pleased to lend strong support to AB 18. We applaud the author for his diligence in assisting victims of sexual assault to be able to seek justice.

We have all heard the saying “That justice delayed is justice denied.” For victims of sexual assault who have been waiting to have their rape kits tested no truer words are spoken. While SB 813 (Leyva -2016) and SB 22 (2019) fortified avenues for victims to have rape kits tested, the reality is there is still a backlog. According to the Department of Justice 2020 report there remains 13,929 kits that have not been tested through the State of California This is simply a nightmare for those victims. If this continues there is a real possibility that the DNA will degrade and not only the victims associated with those kits be denied justice prematurely, but serious and violent rapists will be on our streets to victimize again.

AB 18 will require law enforcement that has in their possession any sexual assault forensic evidence before 2016 to be submitted to a crime lab no later than January 31, 2023.

Furthermore, the bill will require a crime lab to process the evidence kit by January 31, 2024. The bill also includes a thoughtful and meaningful provision for those victims who have chosen to not reopen the trauma of the past by exempting them.

Once again Crime Victims United lends its strongest support to the bill. We comment the author for the thoughtfulness in the carefully created bill to allow victims of crime to seek to protect our community form our worst offenders.

Nina Salarno-Besselman
President