SEXUAL ASSAULT KITS

Also see Child Abuse Policy E-8-3

 

Impounding Officer Procedure Evidence Officer Procedure Disposal Policy E-8-5 Investigation of Sexual Assault Crimes Policy E-8-13 Collecting Evidence for a Sexual Assault Case

 

Biological evidence associated with the body of a sexual assault victim needs special attention. The victim needs to be transported to a medical facility for a sexual assault examination. This should be done as expeditiously as possible in order to preserve what remains of the biological evidence and to document any physical trauma. Consider having photographs taken of any physical trauma, as well. Attending medical personnel should collect the appropriate evidence by using the Sexual Assault Evidence Kit provided to them by the Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division.

 

In general, if more than 72 hours has elapsed from the time of the sexual assault to the time of the medical examination, the chances of finding semen evidence in the body of a living victim are greatly diminished. However, it may be prudent to collect a sexual assault kit if you have any doubts or concerns. This time range does not apply to deceased victims; it is recommended that you collected a sexual assault evidence kit from deceased victims regardless of the elapse time.

 

Bathing, showering, and douching by the victim does not necessarily eliminate the possibility of finding semen evidence in body cavities, so collect a sexual assault kit even under these circumstances. Showering or bathing will, however, eliminate saliva, semen, and trace evidence deposited on the exterior of the body.  Check drains if the victim has showered or bathed.

 

Undergarments, worn by the victim during and/or immediately after the assault, are also good sources for collecting semen evidence. Package each clothing item separately to avoid cross-contamination.

  1. Penile Swabbing Evidence Kits  If a male suspect is taken into custody within 18 hours of the incident and he has not showered or bathed, a Penile Swabbing Evidence Kit provided by the Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division should be collected.  The suspectís underwear should also be collected and packaged separately as such evidence may provide an excellent source of the victimís DNA.

  2. Standards  need to be obtained from all individuals believed to be involved in the incident. This includes the victim(s), suspect(s), and in a rape situation, any recent (within 3 days) sexual partner(s). The DNA from the evidence is compared to those standards to determine who the donors are or are not.  Both blood and oral swab standards are currently acceptable for use as a DNA standard.

  3. Blood Standards  Collect at least one tube of blood into a lavender top tube, which contains the preservative EDTA and label the tube with the individualís name and date collected, then seal it in a box or padded envelope to prevent breakage.

  4. Oral Swab Standards  Vigorously swab the cheek and gums of the mouth, one swab at a time, until 4-6 swabs are collected. The individual may do this him/herself under your direct supervision.  Allow the swabs to completely air-dry.  Seal in a paper envelope labeled with the individualís name, date, and ďOral Swab Standard.Ē

 

Hair Standards

Refer to hair collection

 

IMPOUNDING OFFICER PROCEDURES

 ******CAUTION******   AIDS has a short life span when exposed to air. However, HEPATITIS can live for years in the open air. Hepatitis contaminated evidence has been frozen and thawed years later. The virus was shown to still be alive.   DO NOT TAKE CHANCES. ALWAYS USE GLOVES AND WHEN POSSIBLE, FACE PROTECTION.

  1. Ensure that all necessary items have been air-dried. 

  2. Ensure all paper work has been completed once medical staff finishes the sexual assault kit.

  3. After medical staff seals the sexual assault kit, DO NOT open it.

  4. Place a completed evidence label on the outside of the package. 

  5. Any associated paperwork from the hospital that was not placed in the kit, must be submitted as a separate line item on the property evidence report.

  6. Place the kit into lockable container in evidence locker #1, (the refrigerator).

  7. Complete the property-evidence report.

  8. Place the property-evidence report (yellow & green copies) in the property-evidence basket in the Evidence Processing Room.

  9. If submitting to the State Crime Laboratory then insure a copy of your report is attached to the laboratory request form.

 

EVIDENCE OFFICER PROCEDURES

STORAGE:

  1. Ensure proper packaging; refer to example board in the evidence processing areas.

  2. Place one barcode on the item and the corresponding barcode on the property receipt.

  3. All sexual assault kits are to be stored in the refrigerator, unless instructed otherwise but the State Crime Lab.  When in doubt please contact the Crime Lab for instructions on storage.

  4. Using the barcode reader, scan the bin location within the refrigerator and then scan the barcode affixed to the item.

  5. Place the item in numerical order by case number.

  6. Never store liquid blood tubes in the freezer.  These must be refrigerated.

 

DISPOSAL

  1. Upon authorization or disposition of the case, see ĎGeneral Disposition of Items.'

 

 

Revised 4/18/07