The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Cops, courts and fires

February 19, 2014

Bill helping sexual assault victims moves forward

INDIANAPOLIS — A bill authored by Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, passed out of the House Public Health committee Wednesday on a 9-0 vote.

Senate Bill 255, if passed, will allow physicians to conduct examinations for evidence in suspected sexual abuse cases without consent from the victim if the victim is unconscious or unable to give consent.

Under current law, medical examiners cannot conduct a test to collect evidence without the consent of the victim, which leads to some evidence disappearing.

Lanane said this issue was brought to him by Holly Renz, a registered nurse and program director of Community Hospital Anderson's sexual assault treatment center. He said this type of scenario is very rare but does happen.

"This is a way to address this unusual but important scenario," Lanane said. "It happens often enough and puts medical examiners in a difficult situation."

He said he hopes the new law makes deciding to conduct an exam easier if an examiner believes one is warranted and cannot get consent in an appropriate amount of time.

Renz said sometimes victims will come into a hospital badly beaten and unconscious, making it impossible to get consent.

"We'll sometime have a victim who is unconscious and can't give us consent," Renz said. "If they need to go into the OR (operating room) we need to collect possible evidence immediately."

Renz said she felt this law could lead to more convictions in sexual abuse cases because less evidence will be lost. If evidence is collected without consent, Renz said, it will be stored in the hospital until the victim is able to speak with an examiner. If the victim at that time decides not to press charges, the sample will be discarded.

Lanane said the bill sets up a process for the Indiana State Police superintendent to set up a standardized rape test so examiners across Indiana will be doing the same thing. The bill also protects examiners from lawsuits as long as they aren't negligent or unethical in their examination.

Text Only
Cops, courts and fires
  • Election board looking into voter fraud allegation The Madison County Election Board delayed a decision into allegations of voter fraud in the May primary until it can gather additional information. Brian Bell, who lost the Democratic Party’s nomination for sheriff by 48 votes to Scott Mellinger, raised allegations to the election board during a hearing Friday.

    August 19, 2014

  • NWS - HB0815 - heroin bust - JM - james dixon New York suspect denies involvement in large heroin network A New York man suspected of involvement in the large heroin ring dismantled last week said he has never sold drugs in his life, though he suspected that's exactly what his brother was doing.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mother who brought gun to school pleads guilty

    A mother who admitted to bringing a gun to a meeting at her son's school in April pleaded guilty on Tuesday.

    August 19, 2014

  • Arrest Log: Aug. 20 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Monday and Tuesday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    August 19, 2014

  • boydx.jpg Mississippi fugitive arrested in Anderson

    A Mississippi man arrested by U.S. Marshals Monday night agreed to be transported back to Mississippi during an extradition hearing Tuesday. But the man said he's concerned about how he'll be treated once he returns.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • State police seek recruits The Indiana State Police is accepting applications for the 75th Recruit Academy. Individuals who are interested in beginning a career as a state trooper may apply online.

    August 19, 2014

  • Arrest Log: Aug. 19 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Sunday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    August 18, 2014

  • NWS - HB0815 - heroin bust - JM - jon niccum 2 suspects in heroin bust admit to involvement Two suspects arrested in connection with last week's large heroin network bust admitted to limited involvement with the ring in an interview with The Herald Bulletin on Monday. The case against two other suspects could be going into federal court.

    August 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Driver injured when dump truck overturns

    The driver of a dump truck involved in a single-vehicle accident was hospitalized on Monday.

    August 18, 2014

  • Arrest Log: Aug. 18

    Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Saturday and Sunday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    August 18, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide