The Legal Investigator Fall 2011 Vol.36, Issue 3 : Page 2

criminal focus by Jennifer Brown U SING G ENEOLOGICAL ENEALOGICAL T OOLS TO L OCATE I NDIVIDUALS H E S AID/ S HE S AID SEXUAL ASSAUL T CASE INVESTIGATING THE “ 4 As in all cases, investigators should very closely review the discovery. Several pieces of information can help identify what actually happened, and lead you to do further investigation that may not have been done by law enforcement. One of the most challenging cases for criminal investigators is the “he said/she said” sexual assault case. These are cases where there is no question that a sexual encounter occurred, but the two sides have divergent claims about what happened. The accuser reports that the sex was unwanted and possibly even forceful, while the defendant says that the sex was consensual. The question is not “who did it?”, but rather, “was there a crime?” In the past, women who made allegations had their reputations trashed, and were made to appear as though she “wanted it” if she did not fight back. Under prior laws, the women seemed to be the ones on trial while their sexual history and reputations were heavily scrutinized. She was often not believed if there was no evidence she fought off what she says was an attack. Clearly, she would not just lie there and be victimized. It was hard to get convictions based on such beliefs about women and their sexuality. Fortunately, society does not tolerate these outdated notions anymore, but some of the old ways of thinking still linger in jurors’ minds when they are deliberating on these cases even now. For example, jurors may think, “Something must have happened, otherwise why would a woman put herself through the humiliation of a trial?” Also, the issues under consideration in a sexual assault case are much more subtle than whether a brutal attack occurred. These cases do not involve a stranger attacking a woman alone late at night. Nowadays, in many of these cases the woman knows her alleged attacker, and may even have consented to have sex with him at an earlier time. the legal investigator

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