Investigating and Prosecuting Sexual Assault by Intoxication

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90 Minutes

Originally Aired
April 20, 2022

Wendy Patrick
Wendy Patrick, JD, PhD
Deputy District Attorney, San Diego District Attorney’s Office
Carlton Hershman
Detective, San Diego Police Department (Ret.)
Catherine Garcia
Catherine Garcia
Supervising Investigator, Sex Crimes, Human Trafficking, and Child Abduction, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office (Ret.)

This presentation will address the issues investigators, prosecutors, victim advocates, and medical personal often encounter in alcohol-facilitated sexual assaults. Hurdles in these cases typically include the consent defense, perceptions about “he said/she said” cases, and victims suffering from memory loss, as well as challenges related to victim shame, embarrassment, and lack of trust in law enforcement. This means that sexual assault by intoxication cases are some of the hardest and most difficult cases to investigate and prosecute. These challenges are not typically found in other types of crimes which adds to the complexity of the community response. In these cases, first responders, including health care professionals, are often challenged by a victim´s inability to describe the crime due to memory gaps, or other perception difficulties caused by intoxication. Together, these challenges can impact an investigation, and ultimately the opportunity to successfully prosecute a case.

Recognizing and understanding these challenges will help improve the criminal justice response while advocates and health care professions will be better able to support victims of these crimes. However, understanding victims and how these crimes occur is only half the battle; getting a case into the courtroom is the other half.

Please note: This is a 90-minute overview of Investigating and Prosecuting Sexual Assault by Intoxication. For a more detailed presentation, you may want to register for the 2-part series on the same topic.

New Frontiers in Investigating and Prosecuting Sexual Assault by Intoxication – Part 1

New Frontiers in Investigating and Prosecuting Sexual Assault by Intoxication – Part 2

As a result of this session, participants will be better able to:

  • Describe strategies to better assist victims of alcohol-fueled sexual assault
  • Explore options to empower survivors to find their voice when their credibility is attacked.
  • Identify ways to corroborate cases with a wide range of facts and details.
  • Evaluate the best questions to ask to overcome the consent defense.

With a paid registration or subscription, you are free to personally listen to this webinar, as many times as you wish. You may also excerpt or cite the material following accepted conventions. However, you may not allow other individuals to listen to this webinar without their own registration or subscription.

This content is for Individual – Monthly, Individual – Annual, Individual – Lifetime, Agency – Bronze (1-10 Users), Agency – Silver (11-25 Users), Agency – Gold (26-50 Users), Agency – Platinum (51-500 Users), and Lifetime Access – Investigating and Prosecuting Sexual Assault by Intoxication members only.
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