Law Regarding 
Medical Forensic Exams 

On March 31, 2008, Governor Ritter signed into law HB 08-1217 which states that a victim of a sexual assault is not required to participate in the criminal justice system or cooperate with law enforcement in order to be provided with a forensic medical exam or to bear the cost of receiving such an exam.

As a result of HB-08-1217

  • If a victim of a sexual assault crime wishes to receive a forensic medical exam but does not at the time of receiving the exam want to participate in the criminal justice system, they may go to a medical facility that provides forensic medical exams to obtain this exam.
  • The victim of the sexual assault will not be charged for the forensic exam.
  • The victim's name will be given to law enforcement and the victim can choose whether they want the evidence tested.
  • The victim may be charged for other medical expenses not related to the exam, such as the cost of medical treatments.
  • Under Colorado law, law enforcement must store the MFE kit for a minimum of two years.
  • An initially medically reporting victim can decide at a later date that they want to have the crime investigated and prosecuted.

On March 30, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed into law SB 15-128 which enables victims of sexual assault to receive a medical forensic exam without having to cooperate with, or provide their name to, law enforcement. The new provision is known as "anonymous reporting." These victims also do not have to pay for the evidence collection portion of the medical forensic exam. 

As a result of SB 15-128:

  • If a victim of a sexual assault crime wishes to receive a forensic medical exam but does not at the time of receiving the exam want to participate in the criminal justice system, they may go to a medical facility that provides forensic medical exams to obtain this exam.
  • The victim of the sexual assault will not be charged for the forensic exam.
  • The victim's name will not be given to law enforcement.
  • The victim may be charged for other medical expenses not related to the exam, such as the cost of medical treatments
  • An anonymous reporting victim cannot choose whether the evidence collected is tested.
  • Under Colorado law, law enforcement must store the MFE kit for a minimum of two years.
  • An initially anonymous reporting victim can decide at a later date that they want to have the crime investigated and prosecuted.
The Sexual Assault Victim Emergency (SAVE) payment program (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-3-407.5 (b):) can pay for associated medical costs related to the MFE and injuries sustained during the assault for both medical and anonymously reporting victims. 


HB 08-1217 and SB 15-128 do not affect Colorado’s mandatory reporting laws. Under Colorado law, the attending physician is required to report to a law enforcement agency any known or suspected physical and sexual abuse crimes as well as domestic abuse. Therefore, the physician/nurse who conducts the exam is required to contact law enforcement to report the crime, however, there is not a requirement that the victim of the crime participate in the criminal justice system, cooperate with law enforcement, or provide their contact information in order to receive a forensic medical exam. 

The revisions to the law can be found in C.R.S. 12-36-135