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

Minutes of the Meeting of September 17, 2018
Office of the Chief State's Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

Attendance: Maureen Platt, Chair, Candida Fusco, Brian Narkewicz, Emma Durgni, Laura Varesla, Joy Reho, John Leventhal. M.D., Laura Cordes, Kristin Sasinouski, Patti Lamonica, Denise Covington, Monica Ponzella, and Karen Jubanyik, M.D. (by teleconference)

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

The minutes of the June 18, 2018, meeting were reviewed and approved unanimously after a motion by Brian Narkewicz, which was seconded by Laura Cordes. Dr. Leventhal abstained.

Dr. Leventhal gave the report of the subcommittee dealing with the issue of when the consent of a minor is needed before a forensic medical examination can proceed. He reported that his subcommittee had developed language to be submitted to the full Evidence Commission for inclusion into the Technical Guidelines. It was agreed that Dr. Leventhal would email the Chair the agreed upon language for distribution to the entire Commission, so that the matter could be further discussed and voted upon at the December meeting.

Denise Covington gave the report on the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) program. She stated that since July 1, 2018, the program has been activated 73 times and had been able to respond 57 times. She reported that a new class of 18 students will begin on September 24, 2018.

The report of the Bill Paying Subcommittee was tabled until the December meeting. Dr. Leventhal stated that he may wish to discuss, and perhaps re-examine, the payment rates to medical facilities at that time.

Joy Reho stated that an anonymous kit had been submitted to the forensic lab. The hospital in question had mistakenly put the victim's name on the kit. The law enforcement agency then crossed out the name in an effort to maintain the victim's anonymity. It was agreed that no law enforcement agency should ever cross out anything on a kit. The Commission agreed that a form should be developed to deal with such a circumstance. Furthermore, it was suggested that new and more detailed information should be given to survivors regarding their ability to obtain information about their kits, and contact relevant law enforcement agencies.

The Commission also discussed when an examiner should swab a minor victim for touch DNA. This issue was discussed after an inquiry by a medical facility that was attempting to develop a protocol to deal with such testing. It was agreed that Kristen Sasinouski would contact the hospital to try to answer some of their questions.

Laura Cordes updated the Commission regarding an earlier meeting of the Subcommittee on Implementing Guidelines in accordance with Public Act 18-83. She stated that the subcommittee has been making progress on the matter and has discussed various methods of giving survivors access to the results of the analysis of their sexual assault kits. She reported that the next meeting of this subcommittee will be on October 22, 2018.

The next meeting of the Commission will be on December 10, 2018.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:50 p.m. after a motion by Laura Cordes which was seconded by John Leventhal, M.D.