Texas AG candidate claims victims pay for "rape kits"

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June 13, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas: In a video located on her attorney general campaign website, Democratic candidate Barbara Ann Radnofsky accused Republican incumbent Greg Abbott of requiring "rape victims [to] pay for the rape kit," or, in other words, the "forensic exam, which is done by medical professionals to collect physical evidence for the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault suspects."[1] Texas state law, however, dictates otherwise, placing responsibility in the hands of local law enforcement agencies to cover the cost of the hospital rape kits when the victim chooses to report the crime. If the victim decides against pursuing prosecution, it is the Texas Department of Public Safety that is required to pay for the exam. The latter statement did not become effective until HB 2626 was passed by the State Legislature and signed by the governor on June 19, 2009.[2] Prior to this measure, which amended the state's version of the Violence Against Women Act, "the attorney general did not have the authority to change a policy that was mandated by state law."[3]

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