In February 2019, County Executive Johnny Olszewski created the Sexual Assault Investigations Task Force to examine current investigation and prosecution policies, practices and training related to sexual assault complaints, including the review of past case files.
Sexual Assault Response Team
The BCoPD is an active member of the Baltimore County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), a multi-disciplinary team assembled in local jurisdictions to bring various member agencies and perspectives together to work collaboratively in the arena of sexual assault investigations, victim services, victim advocacy and best practice reviews. The BCoPD is regularly represented by members of the Special Victims Unit, Crimes Against Children Unit and Forensic Services Section.
Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE)
Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) is home to the Baltimore County Sexual Assault Response Team and has a dedicated Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Program. They provide expert care, victim advocacy, public education and comprehensive services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. A SAFE Nurse, a Forensic Nurse Examiner who is specially trained to care for victims, is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The SAFE Program assists mostly adolescent and adult females, but also assists males and children age 12 and under who have been victimized.
A victim has 360 hours (15 days) after an incident to receive a SAFE exam.
Services, including the sexual assault exam, are confidential and provided at no cost. The State of Maryland covers these costs and victims may remain anonymous. Victims who want to remain anonymous may go directly to GBMC's Emergency Department, at 6701 North Charles Street in Towson, to receive treatment and participate in this procedure. They do not need to contact police to have a SAFE exam.
Evidence is collected and stored for at least 20 years. It is forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agency, where an anonymous police report is generated. This assures that evidence is preserved if the victim chooses to proceed with an investigation in the future.
The Baltimore County SART is chaired by Laura Clary, BSN, RN, FNE-A/P, SANE-A, the Clinical Program Manager for the SAFE Program.
Sexual Assault Resources
GBMC provides resources and a listing of Sexual Assault Services that are available to victims.
The Center connects victims and survivors of sex and labor trafficking with services and support to get help and stay safe. The National Hotline also receives tips about potential situations of sex and labor trafficking and facilitates reporting that information to the appropriate authorities in certain cases.
TurnAround, Inc. is a victim advocacy group that provides services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. They provide counseling and support services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking.