Rape kit retention legislation headed to Idaho House floor

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Law enforcement agencies would have to follow new statewide standards on how long physical evidence in sexual assault investigations should be retained under new legislation headed to the House floor.

The House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee unanimously approved advancing the measure Tuesday.

According to the proposal, rape kits involved in felony or anonymous cases would have to be retained for 55 years or until the sentence is completed. For death penalty cases, rape kits would have to be retained until the sentence has been carried out.

Currently, Idaho does not have such guidelines.

In 2016, the Idaho Legislature unanimously passed a new system for collecting and tracking rape kits in Idaho. Supporters are now seeking to fine-tune that system during this year’s legislative session.