Identification in Sexual Assault Investigations

In a sexual assault investigation the law enforcement investigator’s mental approach should be to determine if a crime was or wasn’t committed. One of the major aspects of determining if a crime was committed and by whom, is the identification process of the sexual offender. Therefore, the law enforcement investigator must determine as soon as possible if the victim can identify the sexual offender. In child sexual assault cases, the victim and sexual offender generally know one another. However, in adult sexual assault cases stranger sexual assaults are common and the process of identifying the sexual offender can be complex. The investigator must then follow investigative protocols and procedures in order to properly and lawfully assist the victim in identifying the sexual offender. The investigators credibility as a law enforcement officer will be questioned if the identification investigative process is not followed. If the credibility and reliability of the identification is questionable then a sexual offender may be released back into the community and/or an innocent person can be sent to jail/prison for a crime he/she didn’t commit. In this video Lawrence W. Daly, Chief Sexual Assault Investigative Educator for the One Daly Corporation raises several issues surrounding the concerns of identification in a sexual assault investigation.

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