A new law in effect today (Fri) modifies how sexual assault examination kits are handled and stored in Minnesota. Those kits contain evidence that medical professionals gather from victims which could then be used by prosecutors.

In cases where a victim permits forensic analysis of the evidence, it must be retained indefinitely by the investigating agency after the testing lab returns it.   When a victim does *not* allow forensic analysis, the kit must be retained at the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for at least 30 months. Officials say the extended time gives sexual assault victims the opportunity to change their minds about having the evidence sent to a lab for analysis.