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NCJ Number: 94312 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation of the Sexual Assault Determination Kit
Journal: Detective  Volume:11  Issue:1 and 2  Dated:(Spring/Summer 1984)  Pages:16-19
Author(s): W J Marchant
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
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NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The sexual assault determination kit used by Federal criminal investigators is inadequate due to a combination of manufacturer flaws, poor training in its use, and insufficient attention to liaison between investigators and medical personnel involved in victim treatment.
Abstract: The number of poor or altered specimens received by the USACIL (criminal investigation laboratory) each month reflect the need for changes in the Sexual Assault Determination Kit. The samples received are often moldy, making it difficult if not impossible to determine the secretor status. This occurs when the saliva sample is not properly dried. Also, condensation can develop when the saliva sample is placed in a plastic bag. Further, the kit does not contain a standard saliva sample to provide the forensic chemist something with which to compare the saliva sample. Also, the vaginal and cervical swabs are not being thoroughly dried and are often received moldy. These swabs are not specifically addressed in the kit's notes and instructions to the physician. Vaginal pool swabs are often obtained with too much saline on them, making it difficult for the forensic chemist to break down the specimen. Vaginal valences or washes are not mentioned in the instructions, although in some cases they are helpful to the forensic chemist. Hairs present another problem, as there are never enough sent to the lab. The physician directions on collecting hairs need revising. Instructions for obtaining fingernail scrappings also require revisions. Moreover, physicians are placing fixatives on vaginal, cervical, and spermatozoa motility smears as directed by kit instructions. This hinders the chemists in providing an accurate opinion about the smears. Improvement in the investigation process requires that investigators, physicians, and the laboratory have a common understanding of the nature and quality of evidence required and how this evidence is to be collected. Proper training should ensure that these procedures are implemented.
Index Term(s): Criminal investigation training; Evidence collection; Evidence preservation; Federal law enforcement agencies; Investigative techniques; Sexual assault; Sexual assault victims
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