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NJ Lawmaker Calls Billing Rape Victims For DNA Collection ”Horrendous”

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — A New Jersey lawmaker — infuriated by the prospect of rape victims being billed for the “rape kits” used in the hospitals to collect the DNA evidence — is pushing hard for a law to prevent such billings.

New Jersey state senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington/Camden) says the federal government is supposed to pick up the tab for this, but sometimes it doesn’t happen.

“In New Jersey right now, if someone is raped and evidence is collected in a rape kit, it is possible that that woman will receive a bill for the rape kit.  I find that absolutely horrendous,” she told KYW Newsradio today.

So, Allen has co-sponsored a bill with Sen. James Beach of Camden County that would prohibit health care providers in the state from billing rape victims.

“If you think about it, there is absolutely no other crime where the collection of evidence is charged to the victim,” Allen fumes.  “I mean, can you imagine police officiers coming to your house after a robbery, going around, collecting fingerprints, and then sending you a bill? That’s not how we do things in this country.”

The bill has passed the New Jersey State Senate and Allen hopes it will reach the governor for his signature within the next two months.

Allen says she learned the billing was sometimes occurring through a constituent tip.

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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  • Tim Gallagher

    Where is Statue of limitations bill a3622 bill in the process

  • JLP45

    Clear to me this should be challenged under Equal Protection in the constitution and probablythe Civil Rights Amendment. If abortion laws violated womens rights, what is this.

  • Jim Wilmer

    To get the criminal off the street, the Government, Federal, State or local should cover the cost of the rape kit.

  • tommy

    if men got raped i’d bet that there would be no bill and how about kids do they send a 12 year old a bill ??????? and does that mean that if the cops want my dna to see if i committed a crime and i say i wont pay for the test they can’t test me ?

  • jojo

    This is a joke right? Are you kidding me??!! As much money as these insurance company gurus make!!! Outrageous! Thank you Diane Allen.

  • kate

    rape kit and the victim has to pay for it?! no where else in criminal prosecution does the victim pay. how this could occur and has been occurring is beyond me.
    who shoulld pay for it? our taxes, our medical insurance, charity? but certainly not a victim.

  • Melissa Haines

    It happened to me in PA. This has been a known issue for some time and I was previously interviewed about it by the Inquirer, yet it keeps happening. $850.00 bill

  • Kats

    I think it’s horrendous that a victim should pay. This is inexcusable.

  • Stevenj1

    Ultimately someone has to pay the hospital and DNA lab. Aside from the criminal, who should pay for this? The victim, the taxpayer or the health insurance company?

    • Paula

      The taxpayer. That’s who is supposed to pay for evidence collection!

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