April 26, 2006
On Tuesday at a conference on crime, Gov. Bob Riley signed into law a measure that forces rape and sexual assault suspects to submit to testing for HIV and other STDs if their alleged victims request it. Previously, the testing was only done after the suspect was convicted. "These victims need this information as quickly as possible so they can take whatever steps are necessary to protect their health and to make sure they don't unwittingly transmit the disease to someone else," Riley said. Rep. David Grimes (R-Montgomery) introduced the legislation at the request of a rape survivor; Riley said her inability to learn whether her attacker had HIV was equivalent to a second assault against her.