Bill Text: NJ S1183 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Concerns victim's right to rape care advocate under certain circumstances.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-01-25 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee [S1183 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S1183-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 1183

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 25, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Concerns victim's right to rape care advocate under certain circumstances.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning rape care advocates, and supplementing chapter 14 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes and P.L.1971, c.317 (C.52:4B-1 et seq.).

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The Legislature finds and declares that designated rape care centers and the rape care advocates who work in these centers provide an essential service to victims of sexual assault. These advocates provide compassion and understanding to victims as they undergo difficult legal and medical proceedings.

 

     2.    As used in this act:

     "Designated rape crisis center" means a countywide organization whose purpose it is to provide counseling and advocacy services to victims of sexual offenses under contract with the Division on Women in the Department of Children and Families.

     "Rape care advocate" means a person who specializes in counseling victims of sexual offenses, who is employed by or volunteers for a designated rape crisis center and who, at minimum, satisfies the requirements of a victim counselor as defined in section 3 of P.L.1987, c.169 (C.2A:84A-22.14).

     "Sexual offense" means sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault as set forth in N.J.S.2C:14-2, criminal sexual contact and aggravated criminal sexual contact as set forth in N.J.S.2C:14-3, fourth degree lewdness as set forth in subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:14-4 and endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child as set forth in N.J.S.2C:24-4.

     "Victim" means  a person 12 years of age or older who alleges or is alleged to have suffered a personal, physical or psychological injury  as a result of a sexual offense.

 

     3.   a.  Whenever there is an alleged sexual offense, the first responding law enforcement officer shall immediately notify the local designated rape crisis center.  This notification shall be made regardless of when an alleged sexual offense occurs.  The victim shall have the right to have a rape care advocate present and to confer with a rape care advocate prior to and during any medical, evidentiary, or physical examination of the victim.

     b.    Prior to the commencement of any medical, evidentiary, or physical examination of the victim arising out of an alleged sexual offense, the first responding medical provider assigned to the case shall immediately notify the local designated rape crisis center.  This notification shall be made regardless of when an alleged sexual offense occurs. The victim shall be notified orally or in writing by the rape care advocate that the victim has the right to have present and to confer with a rape care advocate prior to and during any medical, evidentiary, or physical examination of the victim.

 

     4.    As used in this section, the terms "designated rape crisis center," "rape care advocate," and "sexual offense" shall have the same meaning as set forth under section 2 of P.L.    , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     a.     In a case involving a victim of an alleged sexual offense, the victim shall have the right to have a rape care advocate present  and to confer with the rape care advocate prior to and during any interview,  statement, or contact with the victim by law enforcement authorities, prosecuting attorneys, or defense attorneys.

     b.    Prior to the commencement of any law enforcement interview, statement, or contact with the victim by any prosecuting attorney pertaining to any criminal action arising out of an alleged commission of a sexual offense, the law enforcement agency, or prosecuting attorney shall notify the local designated rape crisis center.  The victim shall be notified orally or in writing by the rape care advocate that the victim has the right to have a rape care advocate present and to confer with the rape care advocate prior to and during any interview, statement, or contact with the victim by law enforcement authorities, prosecuting attorneys, or defense attorneys.

 

     5.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes procedures to be followed by law enforcement officers, prosecutors, medical providers, and rape care advocates whenever there is an alleged sexual assault.

     Under the provisions of the bill, whenever there is an alleged sexual assault, the first responding law enforcement officer would immediately notify a local designated rape crisis center, defined as a countywide organization, under contract with the Division on Women in the Department of Children and Families, that provides counseling and advocacy services to victims of sexual offenses.  The victim would have the right to have a rape care advocate present and to confer with the rape care advocate prior to and during any medical, evidentiary, or physical examination of the victim.

     Additionally, prior to the commencement of any medical, evidentiary, or physical examination, the first responding medical provider assigned to the case would immediately notify the local designated rape crisis center.  The victim would be notified orally or in writing by the rape care advocate that the victim has the right to have present and to confer with a rape care advocate prior to and during the medical, evidentiary, or physical examination of the victim.

     As to law enforcement investigations, the victim would also have the right to have a rape care advocate present and to confer with the rape care advocate prior to and during any interview, statement, or contact with the victim by law enforcement authorities, prosecuting attorneys, or defense attorneys.

     Prior to the commencement of any law enforcement interview, statement, or contact with the victim by any prosecuting attorney pertaining to any criminal action arising out of an alleged commission of a sexual assault, the law enforcement agency or prosecuting attorney would notify the local designated rape crisis center.  The victim would be notified orally or in writing by the rape care advocate that the victim has the right to have a rape care advocate present and to confer with the rape care advocate prior to and during any such interview, statement, or contact with the victim by law enforcement authorities, prosecuting attorneys, or defense attorneys.

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