CHAPTER 40

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 141

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE TO INCREASE THE JURISDICTION OF THE VIOLENT CRIMES COMPENSATION BOARD.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Title 11 of the Delaware Code by adding a new Section 9019 thereto to read as follows:

"§9019. Payment for forensic medical examinations for victims of sexual offense.

(a) The cost of a forensic medical examination done for the purpose of gathering evidence that can be used in the prosecution of a sexual offense may be paid from the Victim Compensation Fund.

(b) 'Forensic medical examination' shall be defined as medical diagnostic procedures examining for physical trauma, and determining penetration, force, or lack of consent. The cost of the examination shall include collecting all evidence as called for in the sexual offense evidence collection kits and may include any of the following, if done as part of the forensic medical examination:

1. Physician's fees for the collection of the patient history, physical, collection of specimens, and treatment for the prevention of venereal disease, including one return follow-up visit;

2. Emergency department expenses, including emergency room fees and cost of pelvic tray, and

3. Laboratory expenses for wet mount for sperm, swabs for acid phosphates and ABH antigen; blood typing; serology for syphilis and Hepatitis B; cultures for gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomonas, and other sexually transmitted diseases; pregnancy testing; urinalysis; and any other laboratory test needed to collect evidence that could be used in the prosecution of the offense.

(c) Hospitals and health care professions shall provide forensic medical examinations free of charge to the victims of sexual offenses. Any hospital or health care professional performing a forensic medical examination shall seek reimbursement for the examination from the patient's insurance carrier, including Medicaid and Medicare, if available. If insurance is unavailable, or does not cover the full costs of the forensic medical examination, the service provider may seek reimbursement from the Compensation Fund. The Board shall authorize the repayment for reasonable expenses incurred during the forensic medical examination. Such reimbursement shall not exceed a maximum amount to be determined by the Board. If the hospital or health care professional has recovered from insurance, the Board shall only provide compensation sufficient to total the maximum amount provided for in the Board's rules and regulations.

(d) The victim of the sexual offense shall not pay any out-of-pocket costs associated with the forensic medical examination and shall not be required to file an application with the Board. Notwithstanding other language in this Chapter, all forensic medical examinations of victims of a sexual offense not covered by insurance shall be paid for through the Victim Compensation Fund and such payment shall be considered full compensation to the hospital or health care professional providing such services.

(e) In addition to, and at the same time as, any other fine or penalty assessed on any criminal defendant, all defendants convicted of a sexual offense as defined in 11 Del. C §761 shall be assessed an additional fine that shall be used to reimburse the Victim Compensation Fund for forensic medical examination payments. All defendants convicted of sexual offenses shall pay $50 for each misdemeanor level count for which they are convicted and $100 for each felony level count for which they are convicted. All fines paid in accordance with this section shall be deposited into the Victim Compensation Fund.

(f) Nothing in this section shall preclude victims from applying to the Board for other costs incurred."

Approved May 26, 1995