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What Happens at the 73-Hour Mark?: Case Outcomes in Sexual Assault Cases When Victims Delay Reporting

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Abstract:

Conventional wisdom and common sense dictate that sexual assault victims should report their victimization as quickly as possible. The forensic exam and collection of evidence are time-sensitive procedures; it is in everyone’s interest for these to occur as quickly as possible. Now that DNA testing is available, prompt collection of evidence can assist in the identification of unknown suspects. Documenting the victim’s account while it is still fresh in his/her memory is also important for subsequent investigation and prosecution. A 72-hour post-assault window is usually suggested as the ideal for evidence collection and an initial police interview. What if, however, the victim delays reporting, as many victims do? What will be the outcome of those cases? This study proposes to test that proposition, using cases in which the identity of the suspect is known to the victim. In these cases, consent is the key issue of the case. Consent, and the lack thereof, may be demonstrated through documentation of bruising, injury, and the victim’s account of the incident. This evidence frequently remains available after the traditional 72-hour window has closed. Using recent data from a major US city, this study will examine the case outcomes of sexual assault cases in which the victim can identify an offender, comparing the outcomes in cases reported less than 72 hours post-assault with those of cases reported later.
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Association:
Name: AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY
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http://www.asc41.com


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p200643_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Keller, Elizabeth. "What Happens at the 73-Hour Mark?: Case Outcomes in Sexual Assault Cases When Victims Delay Reporting" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, Georgia, Nov 14, 2007 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p200643_index.html>

APA Citation:

Keller, E. M. , 2007-11-14 "What Happens at the 73-Hour Mark?: Case Outcomes in Sexual Assault Cases When Victims Delay Reporting" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, Georgia <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p200643_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Conventional wisdom and common sense dictate that sexual assault victims should report their victimization as quickly as possible. The forensic exam and collection of evidence are time-sensitive procedures; it is in everyone’s interest for these to occur as quickly as possible. Now that DNA testing is available, prompt collection of evidence can assist in the identification of unknown suspects. Documenting the victim’s account while it is still fresh in his/her memory is also important for subsequent investigation and prosecution. A 72-hour post-assault window is usually suggested as the ideal for evidence collection and an initial police interview. What if, however, the victim delays reporting, as many victims do? What will be the outcome of those cases? This study proposes to test that proposition, using cases in which the identity of the suspect is known to the victim. In these cases, consent is the key issue of the case. Consent, and the lack thereof, may be demonstrated through documentation of bruising, injury, and the victim’s account of the incident. This evidence frequently remains available after the traditional 72-hour window has closed. Using recent data from a major US city, this study will examine the case outcomes of sexual assault cases in which the victim can identify an offender, comparing the outcomes in cases reported less than 72 hours post-assault with those of cases reported later.

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