Cuomo proposes extending preservation of rape kits

Posted: Updated:
MIDDLETOWN -

A proposed change to state law designed to help protect rape victims is being met with praise from advocates.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to change current law requiring rape kits to be preserved from 30 days to five years or until a victim is 19. Rape kits are intended to preserve sexual assault forensic evidence.

"With this action, we will address a chronic injustice, remove additional traumatic burdens on survivors and help victims find justice," the governor said in a prepared statement.

The proposal is part of Gov. Cuomo's 2018 "Women's Agenda for New York" and is included in next year's budget.

Kinga Stala, the senior sexual assault examiner for the Mental Health Association in Orange County, says there are some logistical concerns about storage that would need to be addressed if the new law passes, considering that rape kits are kept at hospitals.

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