TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey is requiring officials to keep sexual assault medical examination evidence, including DNA results, longer if the accuser doesn’t press charges.
Acting Attorney General John Hoffman announced the new directive on Thursday.
Hoffman says rape victims may change their minds over time and this ensures evidence will not be destroyed.
Previous guidelines required such evidence be kept for at least 90 days. The new rule requires it to be kept for at least five years.
After five years, the state will have the ability to claim the evidence from county prosecutors and continue to preserve it.
Medical evidence collected in the case of a minor will be retained at least five years after the accuser turns 18.
Some county prosecutors have been retaining medical evidence indefinitely.