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DNA - A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook Inventory

Modified or Hybrid Defense

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Photo of DNA evidence in sealed and unsealed envelopes.
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

DNA evidence can be used to undermine a modified or hybrid consent defense in a sexual assault prosecution. A modified or hybrid defense is one in which the suspect, when initially contacted by investigators, claims that no act of sexual intrusion or penetration took place. Frequently, when investigators request a voluntary DNA sample from a suspect, the suspect will change his statement and assert that any act of sexual contact which took place was consensual. The typing and confirmation of a match of the suspect's DNA with that found in a rape kit sample may assist in demonstrating the defendant's guilty knowledge of the presence of incriminating DNA evidence.  Frequently when confronted with the DNA evidence, the defense often changes its legal theory from one of having no knowledge of the victim to a "consent" defense.

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