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City searches for consultant to review APD sexual assault cases

Thursday, April 4, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

After Council mandated an independent review of police handling of sexual assault cases, the city manager’s office has been busy laying the groundwork to engage a consultant to examine sexual assaults reported to Austin police over the past seven years. Joe Silva from the city manager’s office came to the April 1 meeting of the Public Safety Commission to inform the commissioners that city management expects to have the engagement process finalized in the next couple of weeks. On April 8, the department will release the solicitation for consultant which will be available for a month before the application is closed and the procurement process begins. Silva said that they anticipate coming before Council in August with a proposed contract. To better participate in the procurement process, Chair Rebecca Webber initiated the formation of a working group that will comprise herself; Rebecca Gonzales, an expert in contract procurement and consulting; and Rebecca Bernhardt, a subject matter expert in sexual assault victim advocacy. Silva also cleared up the confusion surrounding the age of victims and when an assault should be classified as statutory rape or rape; the age limit is 17 years old.

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