McDermed bill boosts transparency in tracking sexual assault cases
Illinois State Police (ISP) will now be required to develop and utilize a statewide sexual assault evidence kit tracking system thanks to a measure sponsored by Rep. Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) and signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner recently, according to a press release from McDermed.
House Bill 528, which is effective immediately, creates the Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking and Reporting Commission, which will bring together representatives from state and local police, testing labs, hospitals and victims rights groups to allow them to discuss important factors related to evidence in sexual assault cases. The panel will also create a statewide sexual assault evidence kit tracking system and the guidelines under which the system will operate.
“With this law, ... Illinois has made a positive step towards transparency and accountability in the testing process, which will help decrease the likelihood of error, lessen the evidence kit backlog, and bring more offenders to justice,” McDermed said in the press release. “I am proud to have sponsored this legislation and I am hopeful that this will bring some peace of mind to sexual assault victims who will be able to better monitor their case.”
The bill received bipartisan support, advancing in both chambers of the General Assembly unanimously, and was also championed by groups including the Joyful Heart Foundation and Test400k, the latter of which commended McDermed for sponsoring the legislation.