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A recent push from Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul might change how testing of rape kits are regulatedSubmitted: 12/06/2019
Zack White
Zack White
Reporter
zwhite@wjfw.com

A recent push from Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul might change how testing of rape kits are regulated
ONEIDA COUNTY - A proposal was developed by lawmakers, victims' rights advocates, and members of law enforcement to regulate testing of rape kits.

Oneida County Sheriff's office investigative captain Terri Hook said the bill would make all rape kits evidence.

"It takes a way the digression of law enforcement to decided what evidence is important and what evidence is not important," said Hook.

This new bill would create new timelines and protocols for nurses, victims, and members of law enforcement.


Health care professionals would notify law enforcement within 24 hours of the examination if there is a kit to be tested.

Police would have 72 hours to collect the kit and 14 days to send it to state crime labs for processing. 

The bill also offers survivors the choice to decide when to report.

Hook said a potential drawback of the bill is officers would have to hold kits longer than needed.

"Now I am going to have to hold that kit indefinitely, because the bill says I must hold that kit until the statute of limitation is expired or 50 years," said Hook. 

A survivor does not have to report the assault at the time of the examination.

If a survivor doesn't report, the kit will be sent to state crime labs to be stored for up to 10 years in case victims change their mind.

The sexual assault program coordinator for Oneida County Melissa K. said this would offer a safety net for the victims.

"If a person chooses to have those kits tested, obviously an underage person would have theirs tested right away, but letting people know that within the first 72 hours your kit will be tested if permission is given," said Melissa.

Governor Evers said he would sign the bill into law if it passes.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

LA CROSSE - The Diocese of La Crosse has released the names of 25 clergy men with substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse made against them.

At least 16 of the men on the list face multiple allegations of child sex abuse.

Of the 25 men on the list, 18 have died. All of the men have been taken out of public ministry.

The list did not specify when or where the alleged abuse took place.

Eight of the men on the list have worked in Eau Claire including Bruce Ball (Immaculate Conception-Regis High School), Thomas Dempsey (Sacred Heart of Jesus-Sacred Heart Hospital), James Ennis (Sacred Heart of Jesus), James Finucan (St. James the Greater), James E. Mason (Immaculate Conception-Regis High School, Newman Center-Regis High School), James Stauber (St. Patrick Jr. High School-Regis High School), Raymond J. Wagner (St. Patrick) and Daniel Budzynski (Newman Parish).

Seven of the men have worked in Chippewa Falls including Eugene Comiskey (Holy Ghost), Thomas Dempsey (Northern Colony and Training School), Richard Herrmann (St. Charles Borromeo-McDonnel High School), William Hertzenberg (Notre Dame), James E. Mason (McDonnel High School), Albert Sonnberger (Notre Dame, St. Charles Borromeo) and Francis Zimmerer (St. Joseph's Hospital).

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MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Sunday he wants state lawmakers to pass a package of bills aimed at curbing youth vaping and educating the public about vaping's potential dangers.

The Democratic governor is requesting bill that would ban vaping and vapor products on K-12 campuses and expand the definition of public health emergencies. Another bill would fund a public health campaign to address youth vaping.

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MADISON - Police say the man who was fatally shot at a Madison apartment over the weekend was apparently targeted by the person who killed him. Police said Sunday no motive or suspect have been identified.

The Dane County Medical Examiner's Office Monday identified the victim as 20-year-old Antonio Stidhum, of Chicago, Illinois.

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OSHKOSH, WIS. (AP) - A Wisconsin teenager who was shot and wounded when he stabbed a school resource officer has been ordered to stand trial.

Grant Fuhrman, 17, is charged as an adult with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the Dec. 3 attack at Oshkosh West High School.

Fuhrman is accused of stabbing Mike Wissink multiple times with a barbecue fork. Court documents say the officer was unable to reach his stun gun so he shot Fuhrman twice. Neither was seriously injured.

The school was evacuated and classes were cancelled for two days.

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RHINELANDER - The League of Women Voters of the Northwoods held a session on how to vote in Wisconsin at ArtStart earlier this evening.

They highlighted the voting process including what forms of ID are required.

Co-chair of the group, Debra Durchslag said she was happy after Sunday's turnout.

"I was very pleased to see a new group of interested Oneida county residents who are very much interested to register unregistered voters," said Durchslag

The League is a non-partisan organization devoted to educating the public about local and national politics.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Sunday he wants state lawmakers to pass a package of bills aimed at curbing youth vaping and educating the public about vaping's potential dangers.

The bills Evers, a Democrat, is requesting would ban vaping and vapor products on K-12 campuses and expand the definition of public health emergencies. Another bill would fund a public health campaign to address youth vaping in the state and a fourth proposal would expand the enforcement capacity of the Departments of Revenue and Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection to prevent vaping products from being sold to minors.

The governor's office outlined his proposals in a press release Sunday.

"As a parent, grandparent, and lifelong educator, I am deeply concerned about the health and well-being of our kids," Evers said in a statement. "Vaping is a serious public health epidemic and it is time to take action."

The governor's office said vaping products pose serious health risks to young users because the nicotine contained in e-cigarettes can harm parts of the brain that control attention and learning.

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According to a press release by the Iron County Sheriff's Department, dispatch received a call at 1:52 a.m. reporting a snowmobile crashed on Trail 17 just outside Hurley and the operator was unresponsive.

First responders arrived at 2:04 a.m. and began taking life saving measures. The driver was then transported by rescue sled to Beacon ambulance and then to Aspirus GVH in Ironwood, MI.

After continued life-saving measures, the 47-year-old female was pronounced dead at Aspirus Hospital.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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