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Idaho committee introduces rape kit retention legislation

An Idaho House panel has introduced legislation that would create statewide standards on how long local law enforcement agencies should retain physical evidence in sexual assault investigations.

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.

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.

Democratic Rep. Melissa Wintrow, of Boise, says the bill has already widespread support from law enforcement and prosecutors.

The House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee approved to send the measure to a legislative hearing Thursday.

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