Columbus – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today convened a meeting of the Ohio Sexual Assault Kit Testing Commission to work toward creating an Ohio Model Sexual Assault Kit Testing Guide.
The Ohio Sexual Assault Kit Testing Commission, made up of eleven members, held its first meeting of 2011 today in Columbus. The group met just once last year.
"Ohio law enforcement agencies have the final say on when to test a sexual assault kit in Ohio," said Attorney General DeWine. "This Commission will simply examine best practices across the state and share that information as a guide to our Ohio agencies."
Commission members' goal is to bring greater consistency and accountability in the sexual assault kit testing field.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office conducts sexual assault kit testing free of charge to agencies that submit kits to the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) lab. Ohio hospitals can also seek reimbursement of sexual assault kit testing services, provided at the hospital, through the Ohio Attorney General's Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) Program.
Additionally, the Attorney General's Office has developed specialized training on sexual assault investigative procedures both within the AG's Crime Victim Section as well as through the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA). OPOTA "First Responder to Sexual Assault" classes are free to law enforcement agencies.
Chaired by the Ohio Attorney General's Deputy Attorney General For Law Enforcement, Stephen Schumaker, the Commission includes representatives from the following agencies: Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Office of the Ohio Public Defender, Buckeye State Sheriffs' Association, Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, Justice League of Ohio, Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio Department of Health, and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.
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Eve Mueller 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti 614-466-3840