Law enforcement trained on new sexual assault law -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Law enforcement trained on new sexual assault law

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email
August 22, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Advocates say a new Georgia law will encourage sexual assault victims to report crimes.

Law enforcement officers are being trained on House Bill 1297, which is similar to federal sexual assault laws in that it requires investigators to keep DNA and other evidence for at least 12 months.

Victim advocates say this will bring in federal grant money to help pay for medical treatment, especially for younger victims like college students.

Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Division Director Shawanda Reynolds-Cobb said "Part of that is they can not afford to actually pay for forensic medical exams, and a lot of them don't want to disclose that to their parents. So this will give them the opportunity to report, have the exams, and the proper care without having to incur the cost."

Victims will now have 12 months to consider prosecuting sexual crimes, rather than having to make up their mind immediately.