Minnesota bill would centralize storage of rape kits

A new bill in the Minnesota senate would change the way the state handles, stores and tracks rape kits. The goal is a centralized, standardized system designed to better serve survivors of sexual assault. 

The bill's focus is restricted rape kits. Those kits belong to assault survivors, who weren't ready to make a police report right after the exam. Ramsey County Attorney John Choi says while this is common to see, kits with no case number attached can get lost in the system and are often destroyed. So, if a survivor later decides to report the assault that evidence is gone. 

"Currently right now in Minnesota, we don't have that system in place, and so what we're left with is for local communities to kind of come up with their own solutions," said Choi. “The system would be held accountable so that the victim and survivor would always know where and what the status of their rape kit is."

The bill is seeing bipartisan support in the Minnesota Legislature  and, according to Choi, the bill also has the governor's approval.