Wolf boosts crime victims’ rights with ceremonial bill signing


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a package of six bills to expand protections and support for crime victims.

The governor held a ceremonial signing at the state Capitol on Monday to talk about the bills.

The package includes House Bill 315 to criminalize female genital mutilation, making it a first-degree felony in Pennsylvania.

“I am thankful to see that today in Pennsylvania, we are making this horrific and vile act of female genital mutilation a first-degree felony,” Pennsylvania victim advocate Jennifer Storm said. “No one has the right to alter a woman’s body, period.”

House Bill 502 amends the Crime Victims Act to allow victims to attend any criminal proceeding unless the court determines their testimony would be altered by hearing other witnesses.

Other bills require the Pennsylvania State Police to establish timelines for submitting, testing, and storing rape kits, and to establish procedures to protect victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities.

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