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Greenstein Bill to Expand Rights of Sexual Assault Victims Clears Senate


TRENTON – The Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senators Linda Greenstein and Declan O’Scanlon that would expand the rights of sexual assault victims to include notification of developments in criminal cases.

“Victims of sexual assault deserve to be kept up-to-date and aware of all major developments in the investigation of their case, both for their peace of mind and for their safety,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex), Chair of the Law and Public Safety Committee. “This legislation will establish that right and give law enforcement more clarity regarding their obligation to share that information.”

The bill, S-1017, would expand New Jersey’s “Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights” to give sexual assault victims the right to be informed if significant developments occur in a sexual assault case. Specifically, these developments would include if a DNA profile of an assailant has been obtained, entered into a data bank for retention, been matched with another DNA profile, as well as if the sexual assault evidence has been submitted to a forensic laboratory to be compared against any data bank and the results of that comparison.

In addition, victims would have the ability to designate another person of their choosing to receive these updates. If they elect to do so, they would be required to keep the relevant law enforcement agency informed of the name, address, telephone number, and electronic email address of the person to whom the information should be provided, as well as any changes to that information.

The bill was passed in a 38-0 vote.