(a) Definitions. When used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
1. “Rape crisis program” means any office, institution or center which has been approved pursuant to subdivision fifteen of section two hundred six of the public health law , offering counseling and assistance to clients concerning sexual offenses, sexual abuses or incest.
2. “Rape crisis counselor” means any person who has been certified by an approved rape crisis program as having satisfied the training standards specified in subdivision fifteen of section two hundred six of the public health law , and who, regardless of compensation, is acting under the direction and supervision of an approved rape crisis program.
3. “Client” means any person who is seeking or receiving the services of a rape crisis counselor for the purpose of securing counseling or assistance concerning any sexual offenses, sexual abuse, incest or attempts to commit sexual offenses, sexual abuse, or incest, as defined in the penal law.
(b) Confidential information privileged. A rape crisis counselor shall not be required to disclose a communication made by his or her client to him or her, or advice given thereon, in the course of his or her services nor shall any clerk, stenographer or other person working for the same program as the rape crisis counselor or for the rape crisis counselor be allowed to disclose any such communication or advice given thereon nor shall any records made in the course of the services given to the client or recording of any communications made by or to a client be required to be disclosed, nor shall the client be compelled to disclose such communication or records, except:
1. that a rape crisis counselor may disclose such otherwise confidential communication to the extent authorized by the client;
2. that a rape crisis counselor shall not be required to treat as confidential a communication by a client which reveals the intent to commit a crime or harmful act;
3. in a case in which the client waives the privilege by instituting charges against the rape crisis counselor or the rape crisis program and such action or proceeding involves confidential communications between the client and the rape crisis counselor.
(c) Who may waive the privilege. The privilege may only be waived by the client, the personal representative of a deceased client, or, in the case of a client who has been adjudicated incompetent or for whom a conservator has been appointed, the committee or conservator.
(d) Limitation on waiver. A client who, for the purposes of obtaining compensation under article twenty-two of the executive law or insurance benefits, authorizes the disclosure of any privileged communication to an employee of the office of victim services or an insurance representative shall not be deemed to have waived the privilege created by this section.
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