Commission on the Standardization of the Collection of Evidence in Sexual Assault Investigations
Minutes of the Meeting of December 10, 2018
Office of the Chief State's Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut
Attendance: Maureen Platt, Chair; Brian Narkewicz, Patti LaMonica, Jim Kenny, Monica Polzella, Laura Varelas, Joy Reho, John Leventhal, M.D., and Karen Jubanyik, M.D. (by teleconference).
The meeting was called to order at 3:01 p.m.
The minutes of our September 17, 2018 meeting were discussed and approved (Kerry/Narkewicz).
Laura Cordes gave the report on the Public Act 18-83 subcommittee. She stated that the subcommittee has focused primarily on the system by which survivors of sexual assault would be allowed to access their kit results. Ms. Cordes reported that the subcommittee has suggested a system by which a survivor could log into a website and determine when their test had been submitted, and whether or not a CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) hit had been obtained through its analysis. The subcommittee also recommended that a procedure be put into place that clearly provides information to a survivor regarding how to contact a victim's advocate, and contains contact information regarding the law enforcement official designated to investigate the assault.
A motion was approved unanimously that the Commission utilize the State of Connecticut DSS UPS Trackpad site to provide such information. (Leventhal/ Kenny) (Narkewicz abstained).
It was decided that the Commission should aim for a start date of April 1, 2019 to begin allowing survivor access to such information through the Trackpad system. Various methods were discussed as to how to provide information to survivors regarding how to access the site. It was agreed that further clarification regarding the procedure would be discussed and voted upon at our March meeting.
Laura Varelas provided a Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) update. She stated that all of the testing on the 2015 kits has been completed, and that victim notification was currently underway. Ms. Varelas also reported that the last official meeting of the SAKI Governor's Working Group will be this Friday, December 14, 2018, but that the group is likely to continue under another name and form.
Under old business, Dr. Leventhal reported on the "Consent of Minors" subcommittee. It was agreed that the Commission will vote on the subcommittee's proposed language at our March meeting.
Under new business, Marielle Daniels reported that some hospitals are reporting that suspected assailants are being brought into Emergency Departments by police agencies in order to collect evidence utilizing the CT-100 kits. It was agreed that this practice was inappropriate and should not continue. Ms. Daniels agreed to seek out information about which hospitals were experiencing this problem and what law enforcement agencies were indeed attempting to bring suspects to hospitals for the collection of evidence.
Laura Cordes reported that she will be leaving the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence at the end of January 2019. The Commission unanimously passed a resolution thanking Ms. Cordes for her tremendous commitment and service to the Commission and survivors of sexual violence.
The Commission established to following dates for 2019 meetings: March 18, June 17, September 16 and December 9. All meetings will be held at the Office of the Chief State's Attorney, 300 Corporate Place, Rocky Hill, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:24 p.m. (Reho/LaMonica).