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Crime Victim Assistance Division

Sexual Assault Examination

History

The Iowa Sexual Abuse Examination Payment Program was established in 1979 to pay the cost of evidentiary examinations in sexual abuse crimes. Responsibility for administration of the program was transferred from the Department of Public Health to the Attorney General's Crime Victim Assistance Division July 1, 1990.

Iowa Code section 709§10 (1991) states:

The cost of a medical examination for the purpose of gathering evidence and the cost of treatment for the purpose of preventing venereal disease shall be paid from the fund established in section 915.94. [Victim Compensation Fund]

How the Program Works

Evidence of sexual abuse deteriorates significantly during the seventy-two hours immediately following an assault and is best collected within the first twelve hours after a crime. Because of emotional and physical trauma, sexual assault victims often have difficulty deciding whether or not to report the crime to law enforcement within this time frame.

The State of Iowa pays for the examination regardless of whether the victim reports the crime to law enforcement. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that prosecutors and law enforcement officers will have evidence efficiently and effectively collected if the victim later reports that crime.

Hospitals, physicians and other medical providers who collect and process evidence of sexual abuse submit bills directly to the Sexual Abuse Examination Payment Program. In the event that a victim is erroneously billed and pays for the cost of the evidence collection, the program will reimburse that victim.

Funds for the Sexual Abuse Examination Payment Program come from the Compensation Fund. That fund is comprised entirely of fines and penalties paid by convicted criminals.

Contact

To obtain additional information, call the toll-free number or email our Restitution Coordinator and Program Manager Ruth Walker.

Iowa Attorney General's Office
Crime Victim Assistance Division
Lucas State Office Building
321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319

Phone:             515-281-5044
Toll-Free:         800-373-5044
FAX:                515-281-8199

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