SB 971
Modifies provisions relating to records of minor victims of sexual offenses
LR Number:
Last Action:
2/23/2016 - SCS Voted Do Pass S Seniors, Families and Children Committee (6070S.02C)
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2016

Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 971 - Under this act, any visual or aural recordings or photographs of a minor, if that minor is alleged to be a victim of a sexual offense, created by or in the possession of a child assessment center, health care provider, or multidisciplinary team, shall not be copied or distributed to any individual or entity except as specifically provided in the act or as required by Supreme Court rule or a court order. The following persons or entities may access or share any copies of recordings or photographs for the following reasons: (1) Members of a multidisciplinary team for investigatory and related purposes; (2) Department of Social Services employees and their legal counsel for the provision of child protection and for administrative proceedings; (3) Department of Mental Health employees and their legal counsel for investigatory purposes and administrative proceedings; (4) the Office of the Child Advocate for reviews; and (5) the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board for reviews.

If a court orders the copying or distribution of the recordings or photographs, the order shall limit the use of such recordings or photographs, prohibit further copying, prohibit further access by other persons without an additional court order, and require the return of the copies upon final disposition of the case. In a criminal proceeding, the defendant's attorney, investigator, consulting legal counsel, or other agent shall not copy or distribute to a third party any recordings or photographs unless a court orders the copying or distribution upon a showing of good cause, notice and a hearing, and consideration of the safety and privacy interests of any victim. The defendant's attorney, investigator, consulting legal counsel, or other agent may allow a defendant, witness, or prospective witness to view such recordings or photographs, but shall not allow such person to have any copies.

Any person who copies, distributes, or otherwise accesses the recordings or photographs in violation of the provisions of this act shall be guilty of a Class C felony.

Under current law, any information contained in any court record that could be used to identify or locate a victim of a sexual offense, domestic assault, or stalking is closed and redacted from such record prior to disclosure to the public. This act includes visual or aural recordings, including unobstructed visual images of the victim's face or body, in the information to be closed and redacted.

This act is substantially similar to provisions in HCS/SS/SCS/SB 663 (2016), HCS/HB 1562 (2016), SCS/HCS/HB 2202 (2016), and HCS/HB 2332 (2016).