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Testing of Sexual Assault Defendants May be soon Required

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Pennsylvania House OKs HIV tests for sex-assault defendants

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Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 4:39 PM Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 4:52 PM

By The Associated Press The Associated Press

Reviewed by Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Megan's Law Attorney, Harrisburg, PA

The Patriot-News/fileHARRISBURG, Pa. - A bill to require that defendants in sexual assault cases get tested for the virus that causes AIDS is on its way to the state Senate for its consideration.

The state House voted 197-to-1 on Tuesday for a measure that would require HIV testing within 48 hours of a defendant being bound over for trial.

The test results would be disclosed to the defendant and alleged victim as soon as possible.

Currently, the police will typically execute a search warrant once probable cause is established for a "search" of the defendant's blood.  This would likely be a blood draw for purposes of determining DNA for identification purposes.  However, this new legislation will now allow the police and prosecutors to draw blood for testing purposes simply to determine if there's a chance the defendant has HIV or some other communicable disease.  The likelihood that further "searches" on that blood, once taken, will be enormous.  This pre-textual search of the blood runs contrary to the federal and state constitutions.

If you have been charged with a sex crime or a Megan's Law Offense, contact an experienced attorney at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.

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