Commission on the Standardization of the Collection of Evidence in Sexual Assault Investigations

Minutes of the Meeting of July 13, 2015
Office of the Chief State's Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

Members In attendance: Maureen Platt, Chair; Michael Rickenbach, Joy Reho, Candida Fusco, Linda Cimino, Michelle Noehren, Laura Cordes, Deb Heinrich, Jim Kenny

The meeting was called to order at 3:04 p.m.

The minutes of the March, 2015, meeting were reviewed and accepted.

Linda Cimino gave the report from the Bill Paying Sub Committee. She reported that the fund not only operated within budget of $1.2 million, but was able to return $163,000 to the State.

Laura Cordes gave the Legislative update. Public Act 15-207 has passed and was signed by Governor Malloy. There was some discussion regarding some minor clarifications which may need to be made in the future regarding some aspects of the law, and how best to provide guidance to the lab and law enforcement agencies.

Laura Cordes also distributed the results of the survey conducted by Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services (CONNSACS), with the help of the Commission and the State’s Attorneys regarding the retention of sexual assault kits by law enforcement agencies. It was reported that only one law enforcement agency in the State had failed to comply and that department gave a verbal response during the meeting. It was found that there are 879 untested sexual assault kits which are not labeled as "anonymous." There was a discussion regarding the challenges found with proceeding with the testing and possible prosecution of any of these cases. The State Lab has applied for two grants to help with the cost involved.

Joyful Hearts has been very active on a national basis with the effort to test old sexual assault kits. It was agreed that we should extend an invitation to that organization to update the Commission regarding how the testing is being conducted in other states. This meeting was tentatively scheduled for August 10, 2015, at 2 p.m.

A discussion was held regarding entering information received through the processing of old kits into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). It was agreed that the Commission should invite Executive Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Michael Gailor and a representative from the State Lab to update the Commission regarding this issue at the September, 2015 meeting.

It was agreed that State’s Attorney Platt would address the next meeting of the State’s Attorneys to urge that all State’s Attorneys contact their law enforcement agencies to urge compliance with P.A. 15-207 immediately instead of waiting until the October 1, 2015, date specified in the statute.

Meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.