Medford, Ore. — Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Senate bill 1571 into law on Tuesday, ordering the state crime lab to process all untested rape kits across the state. Medford Police say this falls in line with what’s been their policy for a while now.
“Every sexual assault kit that is submitted to evidence immediately gets sent to the lab,” Medford Police Sergeant Josh Reimer said.
According to Sergeant Reimer, the new law, requiring all kits be tested, falls in line with an MPD policy already in place.
“We have zero kits that are unaccounted for,” Sergeant Reimer said. “Some of them are untested, but they are in the process of being evaluated by the Oregon State Police crime lab.”
The senate bill passed unanimously through the Oregon Legislature. Sergeant Reimer says the bill, called Melissa’s law, will help not only in the investigation process, but it’ll also help the victims themselves.
“They can ask questions about the kit that they submitted, and has it been tested, and what are the results, which is the right thing to do,” Sergeant Reimer said. “It’s their evidence, it’s their case, and they should be working in partner with us on it.”
At least 70,000 rape kits are sitting untested across the county.
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