SACRAMENTO — Today, Senate Bill 1228, authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by the Prosecutors Alliance of California, was introduced to regulate police use of sexual assault survivors’ forensically collected DNA. The effort comes after revelations that San Francisco Police had used rape kit DNA of survivors, including child victims, for over 7 years.
“Using a sexual assault survivor’s DNA to investigate the survivor is an unacceptable violation of their trust and privacy,” said Cristine Soto DeBerry, Founder and Executive Director of the Prosecutors Alliance of California. “The practice makes it even less likely that a victim will report an assault or get help, and that makes us all less safe. This legislation will end this practice and help reestablish trust between police and survivors of sex assault.”
The bill will protect the privacy rights of sexual assault survivors by ensuring that DNA samples voluntarily provided to police by victims and witnesses and by their family members and intimate partners are used only for the criminal investigation for which they are provided and are not placed in any searchable database.