Bill addresses spotty compliance with rape kit law

It was insult on top of injury for Tiana Hogans. After a serial rapist attacked her in her own home she had to go to no fewer than six hospitals to have a rape kit performed.

"That process was more victimizing than the rape itself. That made the rape. It solidified the victimization of the rape by going through that process afterwards," she says.

Prosecutors say her story is not unique. There’s is a state law that a sexual assault nurse examiner or SANE be at a medical facility with an emergency department. In reality, there often aren't. They say there's no enforcement penalty.

Last July, Congressman Ted Poe introduced the Megan Rondini Act. It's named after a Texan who was raped while attending the University of Alabama. The hospital in Tuscaloosa didn't have a SANE, so no DNA was recovered to identify her attacker

"She's not here to tell her story, so I'm here to tell it for her, and that's just the way it is," he said during his impassioned speech from the House floor. Not there, because Megan later died by suicide.

The bill has bipartisan support. It's in committee and a sticking point is negotiating the enforcement aspect of the bill. Not only that, but Congressman Poe is stepping down. So we asked both of his would-be replacements if they would support it.

"Yeah, I would. Absolutely for this bill in particular and just generally. Ted Poe has really carved out a place as a great victim's rights advocate and we need to continue that," said Republican Dan Crenshaw.

"I would work to pass the Megan Rondini Act. I appreciate the way he's reached across the aisle with Congresswoman Maloney on several issues including human trafficking and violence against women more broadly. So, I'd be very supportive of that," said Democrat Todd Litton.

We'll see what happens in the months. We’ll see what the final version will look like and if it will pass. Regardless, victims like Tiana Hogans will be watching.

"There should be a system in place and it should be done now."

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

More from FOX 26 Houston