Boise - Idaho Gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff has expressed full support for Rep. Melissa Wintrow’s legislation (H429) aimed at closing a loophole in Idaho law that dictates sexual assault kits are paid for. Under existing law, a victim’s personal insurance can be billed for the cost of processing a kit. The bill passed the House Judiciary, Rules & Administration Committee today.
“Sexual assault victims go through unspeakable trauma as it is. To think they would have to deal with an insurance company after such an ordeal is horrific,” Balukoff said. “Idaho must step up and do the right thing for sexual assault victims. These kits are crime-fighting tools, not a line item on an insurance form.”
This issue gained statewide attention last summer when a former North Idaho sexual assault victim posted a message on Facebook stating, “I just paid $400 to get raped.” That’s the amount of money the woman was charged to process her sexual assault kit.
Rep. Wintrow has introduced sexual assault kit legislation the past two sessions dealing with how kits are handled, processed and stored. Her bills have passed with unanimous support.
“Rep. Wintrow has revolutionized how sexual assault kits are handled in this state. I fully support her latest effort to ensure law enforcement has the tools to bring perpetrators of sexual assault to justice and to ensure victims are treated with dignity and respect.”