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The Use of Forensic Evidence in Sexual Assault Investigations: Perceptions of Sex Crimes Investigators

NCJ Number
252331
Date Published
January 2017
Length
27 pages
Author(s)
Tasha A. Menaker, Bradley A. Campbell, William Wells
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Annotation
This study used qualitative data to describe the way investigators from the Houston Police Department use DNA evidence during investigations of sexual assaults.
Abstract
Despite the potential value of DNA evidence for criminal investigations and prosecution, there is limited understanding of the way forensic evidence is used and its impact on case outcomes. Results from the current study indicate that DNA evidence had limited influence during investigations, and the value of DNA evidence was shaped by other evidentiary factors. The findings provide insight into the utility of DNA evidence, instances when DNA evidence is least and most useful, the importance of DNA evidence in comparison with other evidence, and the likely aggregate impact of DNA evidence across sexual assault cases. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: April 17, 2019