H. B. 4741
(By Delegate Laird)
[Introduced February 25, 2000; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend article eleven-a, chapter sixty-one of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section
nine, relating to establishing the position of victim advocate
to work under the supervision of the county prosecuting
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article eleven-a, chapter sixty-one of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section nine,
to read as follows:
ARTICLE 11A. VICTIM PROTECTION ACT OF 1984.
§61-11A-9. Accountability of victim advocate to the prosecuting
(a) The prosecuting attorney of each county may in accordance
with and limited by the provisions of section seven, article seven,
chapter seven of the code of West Virginia, appoint victim
advocates to assist in the discharge of his or her official duties
during his or her term of office. Any victim advocate so appointed
shall serve at the will and pleasure of the prosecuting attorney.
All actions of the victim advocate shall be imputed to the office
of the prosecuting attorney and are subject to the same judicial
supervision as the prosecutor; and, all work product of the victim
advocate shall be considered to be the work product of the
prosecuting attorney as if the work has been performed by the
prosecuting attorney individually: Provided, That nothing
contained in this section may be construed to affect the
prosecuting attorney's obligation to disclose exculpatory matters
to the defendant.
(b) The victim advocate shall assist the prosecuting attorney
in the discharge of the requirements of this article.
(c) All information communicated by a crime victim to the
victim advocate is privileged information and may not be disclosed
(1) With the written consent of the victim, or the victim's
personal representative; or
(2) That the information may be disclosed to the prosecuting
attorney or any member of his or her staff; or
(3) That the information is exculpatory information:
Provided, That notwithstanding any rule or provision of law to the
contrary, minor factual inconsistencies in the victim's account of
a criminal act need not be disclosed unless the information
qualifies as a statement of the victim within the meaning of Rule
26.2 of the West Virginia Rules of Criminal Procedure.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish the position
of victim advocate.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.