Governor signs Jones bills to help ensure justice for rape victims

LANSING—Comprehensive measures sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones to support victims of sexual assault were signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday.

“As a father and former sheriff, I know all too well about the devastation these crimes can bring,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “I want to thank Governor Snyder and the bipartisan team of lawmakers for their help in bringing some justice and relief to victims.”

Public Act 318 of 2014, sponsored by Jones, will create a commission consisting of high-level state officials and victim’s rights organization members who are experts in this matter and will place a high priority on the well-being of victims throughout the process. The commission will be tasked with establishing a system to track, audit and fund the submission of all released sexual assault evidence kits.

Jones’ other bill, PA 321, will, upon the victim’s request, require medical testing for venereal disease, hepatitis B and C, and HIV within 48 hours of indictment of an offender for criminal sexual conduct.

The governor on Tuesday also signed PAs 319 and 320, sponsored by Sen. Bert Johnson, D-Detroit. These laws will require law enforcement agencies to inform victims of the availability of sexual assault evidence kits and set timelines concerning the kits from the time a health care facility obtains consent to release an evidence kit to the time it must be analyzed.