Will At-Home Sexual Assault Kits be Banned?

SQ Attorneys

SQ Attorneys

House Bill 1564, a bill that would prohibit the sale of over-the-counter sexual assault evidence kits, is being considered by Washington lawmakers. This is so because advocates, nurses, prosecuting attorneys and police alike have voiced concerns that the kits tend to offer false hope to victims of sexual assault, which in turn impedes criminal investigations and prosecutions against the alleged perpetrators. In a sense, an at home sexual assault kit may actually protect an alleged perpetrator, not a victim.

Last year, Washington’s Attorney General – in an effort to stem the use of at home sexual assault kits – issued a cease-and-desist letter requiring Leda Health to stop distributing its kits that were made available to sorority members of the UW sorority Kappa Delta. The AG maintained that the kits violated the state Consumer Protection Act, because the results obtained are not admissible in court proceedings, but the consumer may not understand that fact. The kits may actually create more questions than answers in court, including how the evidence was collected, who else had access to the kit, and what happened to the evidence after it was collected – chain of custody, in legal parlance. Information from at home kits cannot be uploaded to CODIS, the federal DNA database that tracks DNA samples of anyone convicted of a felony or a domestic violence related charge. Time will see if the House Bill passes. A House committee is set to vote Tuesday.

SQ Attorneys is a Washington State criminal defense law firm comprised of two seasoned criminal defense lawyers, Greg Schwesinger and Saad Qadri. Although the firm and its attorneys does not support, or otherwise condone, criminal behavior, the criminal attorneys that make up the SQ team certainly realize that sometimes good people make bad choices or otherwise get caught up in bad situations. If you or a loved one is cited for a crime – theft or otherwise – don’t despair, contact a qualified criminal defense attorney (like the ones that make up the team at SQ Attorneys) to assist you in navigating the criminal justice system. SQ Attorneys can be reached at (425) 359-3791 or (206) 441-0900.

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