200+ on-demand webinars to choose from!
DNA and Sexual Assault Kits: A Great Forensic Tool
When sexual assault victims/survivors consent to a forensic sexual assault examination, they fully expect that the completed Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) will be submitted by law enforcement to a crime lab to be tested. Sadly, that is not always the case.
Strategies for Enhancing Victim-Witness Testimony in Sexual Assault Cold Case Investigations
Cold case investigations pose unique challenges for investigators who question victims and witnesses many years after a crime was committed. Challenges to eliciting victim-witness testimony include identifying and overcoming motivational barriers (e.g., reluctance), as well as factors related to the fallibility of human memory (e.g., source misattribution). Investigators have traditionally received little training in how to elicit cold case testimony. Drawing on examples from actual cases, this presentation will identify unique investigative challenges inherent to eliciting cold case testimony and review evidence-based strategies for enhancing victim-witness reports.
Sex Crimes Cold Case: Learning from the Ghosts of Investigations Past
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) was one of the early grantees of the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), a program designed to address the nationwide plague of unsubmitted, untested sexual assault kits. JSO used SAKI funds to submit kits for analysis and also to assign advocates, investigators, and prosecutors to pursue investigative leads for previously overlooked cases. One of the outcomes of this initiative was a better understanding of sex crimes investigations – the challenges, shortcomings, and successes. Sergeant DeVevo will discuss the lessons learned, as well as the mistakes, and explore promising practices in cold case investigations.
Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits: Changing What We Know About Rape
In the Fall of 2014, The Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education was approached by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office (CCPO) for the purposes of understanding more about these unsubmitted SAKs. Funded by the CCPO, the researcher team was given access to the SAK case files, and they coded a random sample of 243 sexual assaults case files with completed investigations that either resulted in prosecution or were not pursued due to insufficient evidence.