AN ACT RELATIVE TO SEXUAL ASSAULT NURSE EXAMINERS AND FORENSIC EVIDENCE IN CASES OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND RAPE.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:–
Section 220. (a) As used in this section, the following words, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, shall have the following meanings:-
"Forensic examination", the collection, preservation and documentation of forensic evidence.
"Forensic evidence", evidence collected during the physical examination of a patient after a sexual assault or rape including, but not limited to, evidence collected through use of the standardized kit for the collection and preservation of evidence in rape cases pursuant to section 97B of chapter 41, irrespective of whether the sexual assault or rape was reported to law enforcement officials.
(b) The commissioner of public health shall establish a multi-disciplinary advisory board to assist with the development of a statewide program for the training and certification of sexual assault nurse examiners to conduct comprehensive forensic exams for the purpose of collection, preservation and documentation of forensic evidence for use in civil or criminal proceedings. The advisory board shall include, but not be limited to, a representative from the executive office of public safety, Jane Doe Inc., the office of the attorney general, the Massachusetts office for victim assistance, the disabled persons protection commission, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, the American Academy of Pediatricians, the Massachusetts Children’s Alliance, the Massachusetts District Attorney's Association, the department of social services, the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians, the Emergency Nurses Association, the Boston police department crime laboratory and the state police crime laboratory.
(c) In consultation with the advisory board, the commissioner shall establish requirements for certification and recertification for sexual assault nurse examiners. An applicant for certification at minimum shall be licensed to practice in the commonwealth as a registered nurse or medical doctor; shall have successfully completed a department approved training program, a written examination, and a pelvic and sexual assault clinical preceptorship; and shall satisfy all requirements that the commissioner may establish for certification.
(d) In consultation with the advisory board, the commissioner shall establish specialized requirements for certification and recertification for pediatric sexual assault nurse examiners to conduct forensic exams of patients under 12 years of age.
(e) In consultation with the advisory board, the commissioner shall establish uniform standards and protocols for certified sexual assault nurse examiners and certified pediatric sexual assault nurse examiners to use in conducting forensic exams.
(f) The department shall operate a program to deliver sexual assault nurse examiner services at designated sites throughout the commonwealth. In consultation with the advisory board, the commissioner shall establish guidelines for site designation.
(g) The department may enter into agreements with hospitals, other health, welfare and social service agencies, other government agencies, and not-for-profit organizations necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
(h) The department may adopt regulations to implement this section.