skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 251036 Find in a Library
Title: Injury Evidence, Biological Evidence, and Prosecution of Sexual Assault
Author(s): Theodore P. Cross; Laura Siller; Maja Vlajnic; Megan Alderden; Alexander Wagner
Corporate Author: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
United States of America
Date Published: July 2017
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL 61820
Grant Number: 2013-NE-BX-0005
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh Street NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Grants and Funding; Program/Project Description; Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This is a summary overview of a study that examined the use and impact of injury evidence and biological evidence in the prosecution of sexual assault by an urban district attorney’s office in a metropolitan area in the eastern United States.
Abstract: The study analyzed case data for 257 cases of alleged sexual assault that involved adult or adolescent victims (age 12 or older) that the police department referred for prosecution between 2005 and 2011. Most victims received forensic medical examinations following the assault, and the results were included in the evidence kits that were sent to the crime laboratory. Additional data on the alleged assaults were downloaded from a statewide database of reports completed by the medical examiners who conducted the forensic medical examinations. Analyses were conducted of the relationship of victim-injury evidence and biological evidence to criminal justice outcomes, taking into account other correlates of criminal justice outcomes. Most analyses used the prosecution analysis samples (N=106) in which cases were dropped if the suspect was never identified or the victim was not willing to participate in the prosecution. The study found that victim-injury-evidence variables and most biological-evidence variables were not statistically related to criminal justice outcomes. The one biological evidence variable that had numerous and robust links with criminal justice outcomes was DNA match to the suspect; and most of the study report focuses on this variable. The discussion addresses the impact of DNA evidence on conviction, the filing of criminal charges, carrying cases forward, guilty pleas, and trials. Implications are drawn for the management of sexual assault cases. 1 reference
Main Term(s): Court research
Index Term(s): Blood/body fluid analysis; Case processing; Convictions; DNA fingerprinting; DNA Typing; Evidence; Injury investigations; National Institute of Justice (NIJ); NIJ final report; Prosecution; Prosecutorial discretion; Sexual assault; Suspect identification; Urban area studies
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.