Ten Steps to Consider When Conducting a Criminal Sexual Assault Investigation

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75 Minutes

Originally Aired
April 20, 2022

Matthew Stegner
Matthew Stegner, MA
Senior Investigator, New York State Police

This presentation will focus on lessons learned from a 25-year law enforcement career which has placed the presenter in a variety of communities. Whether inner-city Atlanta, Georgia, the St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation, or on a college campus, sound trauma-informed investigative principles around gender-based violence and sexual assault should apply equally to all. As law enforcement moves to more community-oriented policing and procedural justice models, the presenter proposes that a sound response to instances of sexual assault incorporates these principles. This presentation is geared toward law enforcement professionals, but is also applicable to prosecutors, public safety, and advocates. This presentation on the “Ten Steps” will provide the audience with a malleable template to assist them with the successful implementation of a trauma-informed approach to a criminal sexual assault investigation. The foundational step (step #1) stresses the importance of having a collaborative infrastructure that includes SANE’s, advocates, Title IX coordinators, campus safety and local law enforcement, before a disclosure occurs. The “Ten Steps” will include fundamental investigative strategies, as well as innovative concepts to provide useful content for the new, emerging, or seasoned detective to facilitate reducing the “Justice Gap.”


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

  • Recognize the benefit of a multi-disciplinary approach when receiving a disclosure of sexual assault.
  • Describe the importance of a trauma-informed interview, not just for the benefit of the survivor, but to obtain the maximum information possible for criminal prosecution. 
  • Utilize innovative investigative strategies that move beyond traditional “in custody questioning” of a suspect.

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