7 new laws boost protection for sexual assault victims in NJ

| 26 Apr 2021 | 05:39

Sexual assault. (AP) New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law seven bills aimed at strengthening protections for sexual assault victims.

Among the new laws are measures to set up a three-year pilot program in the office of the attorney general that aims to repair the harm caused by sexual assault.

Murphy, a Democrat, called the changes long overdue and said he was “proud to sign these bills into law.’’

The state police and local police departments must name sexual assault liaison officers under another new law.

Among the other changes is a requirement that law enforcement provide victims of sexual assault with an initial incident report and the chance to review the report and offer corrections. County prosecutors’ offices or any law enforcement agency is also now required to offer victims information on the criminal justice process as well as medical, counseling and mental health services available to them and a phone number to get updates on the case.

Under three other new laws, victims have the right to be told of a prosecutor’s charging decision in sexual assault cases, the state attorney general’s office must issue annual reports on sexual assault cases and prosecutors must undergo sexual assault training.