S.B. No. 476
  relating to establishment of county adult sexual assault response
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 351, Local Government Code, is amended
  by adding Subchapter J to read as follows:
         Sec. 351.251.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Adult" means an individual who is not a child as
  defined by Section 101.003, Family Code.
               (2)  "Response team" means a multidisciplinary team
  established under this subchapter to strengthen the collaborative
  response and enhance health and judicial outcomes for sexual
  assault survivors who are adults.
               (3)  "Sexual assault program" means a program that:
                     (A)  operates independently from a law
  enforcement agency or prosecutor's office;
                     (B)  is operated by a local public or private
  nonprofit corporation either independently or as part of a
  municipal, county, or state agency; and
                     (C)  provides the minimum services, as defined by
  Section 420.003, Government Code, to adult survivors of stranger
  and non-stranger sexual assault.
               (4)  "Survivor" means an individual who is a victim of a
  sexual assault or other sex offense, regardless of whether a police
  report is filed for the incident.
         Sec. 351.252.  ESTABLISHMENT. (a)  Except as provided by
  Subsection (b), the commissioners court of each county shall
  establish an adult sexual assault response team that includes the
  following members appointed by the commissioners court:
               (1)  the chief administrator, or the chief
  administrator's designee, of a sexual assault program that provides
  services for the county;
               (2)  a prosecutor with jurisdiction in the county over
  cases involving sexual assault committed against adults;
               (3)  the chief, or the chief's designee, of the
  municipal police department with the largest population in the
  county, provided a municipality in the county has a municipal
  police department;
               (4)  the sheriff or the sheriff's designee;
               (5)  either:
                     (A)  a sexual assault nurse examiner or forensic
  examiner from a facility that conducts sexual assault forensic
  exams for the county; or
                     (B)  a representative from the largest health care
  provider operating in the county if the county does not have a
  professional described by Paragraph (A);
               (6)  a behavioral health services provider operating in
  the county or, if the county does not have a behavioral health
  services provider, a representative from the county health
  department; and
               (7)  other persons the presiding officer of the
  response team considers necessary for the operation of the response
  team or as recommended by the response team.
         (b)  Two or more counties, each with a population of 250,000
  or less, within a contiguous area may partner to form a multicounty
  response team.
         Sec. 351.253.  PRESIDING OFFICER. The response team shall
  elect a presiding officer from among its members.
         Sec. 351.254.  MEETINGS. (a)  A response team shall meet:
               (1)  at least quarterly at a time determined by the
  presiding officer;
               (2)  not later than the 90th day after the last day of a
  regular legislative session to review and amend as necessary any
  protocols, forms, or guidelines developed under this subchapter;
               (3)  at any other time at the call of the presiding
         (b)  If a response team member is unable to participate in a
  response team meeting, the member or entity the member is
  representing may designate another individual to represent the
  member or entity at the meeting. Each member or a designee of that
  member must participate in all response team meetings.
         (c)  A response team member must attend the quarterly
  meetings held as required under Subsection (a)(1) to participate in
  response team functions.
         (d)  A response team shall meet independently of a children's
  advocacy center multidisciplinary team described by Section
  264.406, Family Code.
         Sec. 351.255.  VACANCIES. The commissioners court of a
  county shall fill a vacancy for a response team member not later
  than the 30th day after the date the vacancy occurs and in the same
  manner as the original appointment.
  A response team shall develop a written protocol addressing the
  coordinated response for adult survivors in the county that
               (1)  the procedures to be used in investigating and
  prosecuting cases arising from a report of sexual assault;
               (2)  interagency information sharing, in accordance
  with state and federal law, to ensure the timely exchange of
  relevant information and enhance the response to survivors;
               (3)  the location and accessibility of sexual assault
  forensic examinations;
               (4)  information on the availability of and access to
  medical care when the care is clinically indicated;
               (5)  a requirement to ensure survivors are offered
  access to sexual assault program advocates, as defined by Section
  420.003, Government Code;
               (6)  information on the availability of and access to
  mental and behavioral health services;
               (7)  a requirement to ensure that relevant law
  enforcement agencies notify survivors in a timely manner regarding
  the status of any criminal case and court proceeding;
               (8)  an assessment of relevant community trends,
  including drug-facilitated sexual assault, the incidence of
  predatory date rape, and sex trafficking;
               (9)  a biennial evaluation through sexual assault case
  reviews of the effectiveness of individual agency and interagency
  protocols and systems;
               (10)  at least four hours of annual cross-agency
  training on the dynamics of sexual assault for response team
  members participating in the quarterly meetings as required by
  Section 351.254(c); and
               (11)  procedures for addressing conflicts within the
  response team and for maintaining the confidentiality of
  information shared among response team members as required by law.
         (b)  In developing a protocol under this section, the
  response team:
               (1)  shall consider Chapter 56A, Code of Criminal
               (2)  may provide different procedures for use within a
  particular municipality or area of the county served by the
  response team; and
               (3)  shall prioritize the health and safety of
         (c)  The purpose of the protocol developed under this section
  is to ensure coordination between all agencies involved in sexual
  assault cases to increase the efficacy of response and to minimize
  survivor traumatization. The response team shall provide the
  protocol to each agency in the county that responds to disclosures
  of sexual assault.
         (d)  Failure to follow a protocol developed under this
  section does not:
               (1)  constitute the basis for a claim or defense to a
  civil or criminal action; or
               (2)  preclude the admissibility of evidence.
         Sec. 351.257.  REPORT. Not later than December 1 of each
  odd-numbered year, a response team shall provide to the
  commissioners court of each county the response team serves a
  report that includes:
               (1)  a list of response team members able to
  participate in the quarterly meetings required by Section
               (2)  a copy of the written protocol developed under
  Section 351.256; and
               (3)  either:
                     (A)  a biennial summary detailing:
                           (i)  the number of sexual assault reports
  received by local law enforcement agencies;
                           (ii)  the number of investigations conducted
  as a result of those reports;
                           (iii)  the number of indictments presented
  in connection with a report and the disposition of those cases; and
                           (iv)  the number of reports of sexual
  assault for which no indictment was presented; or
                     (B)  an explanation of the reason the response
  team failed to provide the information described by Paragraph (A).
         Sec. 351.258.  MEETINGS AND RECORDS; CONFIDENTIALITY.  (a)  
  A response team meeting is not subject to Chapter 551, Government
         (b)  This section does not prohibit a response team from
  requesting or allowing the attendance of a person who is not a
  response team member at a response team meeting.
         (c)  Information and records acquired by a response team in
  the exercise of its purpose and duties under this subchapter are
  confidential and not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552,
  Government Code, and may only be disclosed as necessary to
  implement the response team's purpose and duties.
         (d)  A report or a statistical compilation of data reports
  created by the response team is public information subject to
  Chapter 552, Government Code, provided the report or compilation
  does not contain any personally identifiable information.
         (e)  Information, documents, and records of the response
  team that are confidential under this section are not subject to
  subpoena or discovery and may not be introduced into evidence in any
  civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding, except that
  information, documents, and records otherwise available from other
  sources are not immune from subpoena, discovery, or introduction
  into evidence solely because that information or those documents or
  records were presented during a response team meeting or maintained
  by the response team.
         (f)  A response team may only review a sexual assault case of
  an adult survivor with the signed, written consent of the survivor.
  The consent must specify:
               (1)  the information or records covered by the release;
               (2)  the reason or purpose for the release; and
               (3)  the person or agency to which the information is to
  be released.
         SECTION 2.  (a) Not later than December 1, 2021, the
  commissioners court of each county shall appoint the members to and
  call the first meeting of the county's adult sexual assault
  response team in accordance with Subchapter J, Chapter 351, Local
  Government Code, as added by this Act. At the first meeting of each
  adult sexual assault response team, the members of the team shall
  appoint the initial presiding officer.
         (b)  Not later than December 1, 2022, each adult sexual
  assault response team shall develop a written protocol as required
  by Section 351.256, Local Government Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 476 passed the Senate on
  April 19, 2021, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0; and that
  the Senate concurred in House amendment on May 27, 2021, by the
  following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.
  Secretary of the Senate    
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 476 passed the House, with
  amendment, on May 23, 2021, by the following vote: Yeas 121,
  Nays 24, two present not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House