PEB7 - COLLECTION OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE IN SEXUAL ASSAULT...

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COLLECTION OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE IN SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATIONS Physical evidence in sexual assault cases can assist in establishing elements of the crime, help to identify or eliminate a suspect, and can be used to corroborate or dispute the statements of principals. The evidence most often encountered in sexual assault cases includes not only biological evidence (e.g. semen) but also fingerprints, impression evidence (e.g. shoeprints) and trace evidence (e.g. hairs/fibers). I. General Crime Scene - Collect all items at the scene having possible evidentiary value : anything which might have originated from the suspect/victim (depending upon the nature of scene [e.g. victim's or suspect's residence]) or provide information about what occurred. Process the crime scene systematically for evidence: Photos: To record the scene and identify items of evidence. Sketches: To establish spatial relationships. Latent Prints : Best evidence for identification of the suspect(s); should always be considered. Focus on anything that may have been handled or touched by assailant(s). Shoeprints, Tire Tracks, Toolmarks: Impression evidence that may serve to link suspect(s) to a crime scene. Biological Evidence - Biological evidence includes blood, hair, saliva, semen and other body fluid stains. Any of this evidence may be important and should be collected. All stains collected should be accompanied by a control sample from an unstained area near the collected stain. A forensic light source (e.g. Polilight or Woods lamp) may be of assistance in locating biological stains. Bedding: Collect bedding upon which the assault occurred . If wet stains are located, indicate their location with a piece of tape, allow to air dry and then package by folding the edges toward the center and place in a paper bag. Other Physical Evidence: Collect all other items at the scene having possible evidentiary value : anything which might have originated or been in contact with the assailant(s) or provide information about what occurred. Depending upon the type of scene being examined (e.g. suspect's residence), collect any evidence possibly originating from the victim (e.g. clothing items). Evidence that could be useful in sexual assault investigations includes: fibers, hairs, saliva stain swabbed from a bite mark, lubricants or foreign objects used in the assault or discarded clothing. II. Stains Found at Crime Scene - All biological evidence is subject to deterioration. The careful collection and storage of this evidence will help ensure that this evidence is preserved so that useful information can be obtained from its analysis. The pattern of bloodstain evidence may sometimes contain important information. If the bloodstain pattern is determined to be important, it should be documented with appropriate sketches and photographs. Finally, biological evidence can contain infectious organisms (e.g. hepatitis virus) that can be transmitted to any person who contacts it.
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PEB7 - COLLECTION OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE IN SEXUAL ASSAULT...

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