SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The state legislature is one step closer to banning police departments from using DNA from sexual assaults in other criminal investigations.

The Sexual Assault Victims Act passed in the state senate unanimously and it will now head to the assembly for policy committee hearings. This bill aims to protect sexual assault survivors by prohibiting the use of DNA profiles collected from victims by police for any other purpose than to identify the attacker, meaning police could not use the victim’s DNA from a rape kit to later connect them to another crime.

The bill was put together by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco.

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin sponsored the bill, along with other groups.

The bill came about after it was discovered in San Francisco that sexual assault survivors DNA was being used against them in other unrelated crimes. The act would stop this from happening across the state.

Wiener says it’s already hard enough for survivors to come forward and undergo invasive rape kit exams.
so the last thing they need is to fear it would be used against them in the future.

Sexual assaults are significantly under reported. Fewer than a quarter of survivors come forward to police. Of those survivors only a small percentage undergo DNA collection.

There is already a federal law prohibiting the inclusion of victim’s DNA in the national system. But there is no California state law to prohibit victim’s DNA from being entering the local law enforcement agencies databases.

This legislation would remedy that, and so far it’s received nothing but bipartisan support.