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NY Opens Sexual Offense Evidence Storage Facility


A new storage facility designed to house sexual offense evidence kits has been opened in New York.

Located in the Capital region, the facility offers secure, climate controlled storage for potential evidence in cases of sexual assault.

Under state law, kits which haven’t been reported to law enforcement are required to be kept for 20 years.

The facility has the current capacity to store 17,400 items including kits, bedding, and clothing. Once renovations to a second wing are complete, that number will increase to 26,600.

Hospital staff will need training before sending kits to the facility. That training is scheduled for May for those in Central New York. Those in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier are expected to get training in November.

“New York State remains committed to supporting survivors of sexual assault in every way possible,” Governor Hochul said. “This new State facility will be a critical tool to help deliver support and justice, while providing a strong foundation for victims to heal and alleviate some of the pressure they may feel when it comes to legal timelines.”

New York State Office of Victim Services Director Elizabeth Cronin said, “Access to timely medical care following a sexual assault is critical. It allows an individual to seek treatment and medication, and other services and support that may help them decide whether to report the incident to police. If they are not ready to involve the criminal justice system, preserving forensic and other evidence also increases their options, and the secure storage of kits allows them the time and space to decide the next steps that are best for them.”

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