On a federal level,
specific elements constituting a crime of rape will vary tremendously
from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However there are some
consistencies in the evidence submitted which aids the nabbing of the
culprit of the heinous crime. First, the accused had to have
sexual intercourse with the female. The female may not be a wife
of the accused although in some states again, the weight of that
statement change. The intercourse act was committed forcibly and
against the will of the victim.
Although this appears
simple to prove, try convincing that to a victim afraid to testify, so
scared psychologically from the loss, as to loss her wits for years to
her entire life. Some women who are strong
enough to bring the hideous nature of the
assault public, again she must persevere as it self must be proven to stop the criminal
The act of intercourse is
considered to be committed by force and against the will of the woman if
the act is committed at a time when she was unconscious, drugged,
intoxicated, or so mentally deranged or deficient that she cannot agree
to the act. In addition the evidence demonstrates that resistance by
the women proves the act was without her consent and against her will.
intercourse begins when the penis is inserted into the vagina.
Penetration of the vagina is the prime condition of the act; the man
does not have to experience an emission.
Thus it is the act of
penetration, which is the necessary element, not the degree of
completeness. This is extremely significant, as a victim will on
occasion complain of being raped as a result of a sexual assault.
However, subsequent physical examination reveals that the vagina was not
penetrated. In this case the act is not classified as a rape. However,
if the vagina were penetrated even though no remnant of emission was
discovered, this would constitute a rape victim. In the first case of
a woman being violated yet not penetrated, this attach is still criminal
and must be prosecuted as a type of assault and personal bodily theft,
but not the specific crime of rape.
INVESTIGATION OF THE RAPE SCENE
Your first duty at a rape
scene is to aid the women. Recruit medical attention at once. If the
attack was brutal and the victim is suffering with wounds, briefly
question the victim about the attack if she is able to speak. Many
women are so horrified they cannot make sense. It will be your calm,
truth seeking nature, which will nurture her, and calm her to give the
necessary description. First ask what happened? Where did the crime
occur? Can she describe or provide information about the assailant?
This initial attempt to secure information should be made whenever
possible while awaiting the arrival of an ambulance or during transport
to the medical facilities.
The dispatcher should be
immediately contacted so that they may broadcast the “lookout” message.
This cannot wait. If the identity of the suspect is known, and he is
not present at the crime scene, make arrangement to have hem arrested
after you have attended to the victim.
As I alluded to above upon
arriving at the rape scene, you will find the victim of the sexual
assault under severe emotional duress ranging from hysteria to deep
grief and depression. Crying uncontrollably excited to the point of
incoherence or a deep state of shock and shame is also common. Your
first goal is to reassure the victim that she has nothing else to fear
and that she will be all right (far better then she is presently). If
possible another woman would generally be far more comforting than a man
would. Experience has shown that a experienced female Agent of
policewoman will comfort the victim far better than a male Agents best
intentions. If a female agent or policewomen is not available (hard to
believe) have a female relative or friend come to the scene as quickly
as possible. It is also good investigative work to secure the crime
scene and to search the area for physical traces of the criminal just as
this examiner has taught you in Murder 1-6.
Make certain that any
physical evidence about the person of the victim is preserved. Very
often, the victim will pull hair or tear the assailant’s clothes or
scratch his face, wrist or fingers, during the struggle and accumulate
skin tissue or bloodstains under her fingernails. The victim’s clothing
can also provide valuable forensic information. His must be collected
and forwarded to the Agency or crime laboratory with the other trace
evidence for analysis.
When a rape occurs within
the domicile or home of the victim, ask the victim to change her
clothing before transporting her to the medical facilities. Assume
custody of all the clothing worn at the time of the attack so that they
may be scientifically examined for seminal stains, blood stains, hair or
skin from the assailant. There may be other physical traces that may
lead to the identification, apprehension, and conviction of a suspect.
When the crime scene is not
within the home or the crime locations makes the immediate recovery of
the clothing impractical, instruct the victim you will collect her
garments at the hospital for transfer to a crime laboratory explaining
not to touch her clothing as this will get the perpetrator. In this
situation have the female relative or friend you called or have a friend
or relative bring a change of garments for the hospitalized victim.
Much love can be transferred when a so injured woman has a female
relative or friend. There is much psychological aid to their presence
and a change of garments.
Have the clothing sealed
for the laboratory. Restrict the number of persons handling the
victim’s clothing. Ideally, the victim should personally give you her
clothing, which is then marked in her presence. If it is at all
possible, personally transport these items to the laboratory for
examination. Every concerted effort to protect the integrity of the
specimens and guard the chain of possession must be used. To review
Tag and wrap
to secure against tampering, label and either bring properly packaged
and labeled clothing to or forward the evidence to the crime laboratory.
The tag and
wrapper must include the date of acquisition, name and addresses of the
victim, rank, name, shield number, or Agent number.
number of persons who will handle the evidence.
Each item is
properly marked to facilitate future identification.
The clothing of a rape
victim, especially the undergarments, as well as the clothes of a
suspect are analyzed by the forensics laboratory for seminal stains,
bloodstains, hair and other physical remnants, such a soil, grass
stains, hair grease stains and so forth. Discovery of findings may then
be used to give the Agents or investigators a sense of course of
action. The forensic analysis of evidence may link a suspect to the
crime or it may indicate that the suspect is not the person being
This examiner cannot
stress enough the fact that the clothing must be carefully handled to
protect the evidentiary value of the stains they may contain. Seminal
traces and bloodstains are highly brittle when dry and may be brushed
off clothing! Stains must be covered with paper before the clothing is
folded and each item is individually wrapped.
It is not uncommon to find a reciprocal transfer of evidence in crimes
involving bodily contact. Thus it is not unusual to find hair of the
criminal transferred to the body or clothing of the victim, and in turn,
discover some of the victim’s hair on the suspect. Recovered hair is
usually subjected to microanalysis at the forensics laboratory. The
results of this examination can generally narrow the search of the
perpetrator. A single strand of hair may identify the race, sex,
approximate age and the true color of the hair of the criminal. The
analysis can also determine the portion of the body that it is from such
as the pubic regions, arm pits, chest, scalp or legs.
Relative to Semen,
seminal remnants may be located by ultraviolet radiation because of
their fluorescent qualities. These stains are often present in sex
crimes or crime associated with sexual irregularities. Seminal fluid is
a highly proteinaceous serum normally containing a great number of
spermatozoa or male germ cells. From these cells DNA analysis can be as
good as a video of the actual crime. Seminal traces are usually found
on the underclothing of a victim or of the suspect. Semen may also be
located on bedding, a mattress, a towel, a handkerchief, an automobile
robe or cushions, and even out clothing and materials found at or near
the crime scene or in the possession of the suspect. Bloodstains may
also be found in similar locations and possess the DNA trackers.
by Scott D. Neff, DC, DABCO, CFE © TEXTBOOK FOR FORENSIC CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS
first bond of society is marriage; the next, our children; then the
whole family and all things in common’. Cicero-De Officiis