A Prosecutor’s Reference – Medical Evidence and the Role of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in Cases Involving Adult Victims

Prosecutors should consider the potential testimony that can be provided by Sexual Assault Nurse and Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SANEs/SAFEs). This monographs evaluates studies that show connections between medical-forensic examination and evidence collection and more positive criminal justice outcomes, leading prosecutors to consider the potential testimony that can be provided by these kinds of medical experts.


Evidence of Other “Bad Acts” in Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Violence, Stalking, and Human Trafficking Prosecutions

In proving a case of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, stalking, or human trafficking, it is often crucial to introduce evidence that the defendant has committed some other crime or bad act—usually before or after the charged crime. Such evidence is often viewed with caution by trial and appellate courts, because of the perceived risk that juries will convict the defendant based upon evidence that they committed some crime other than the one charged or that the defendant is a bad person and therefore probably guilty of the charged crime. Prosecutors should file pretrial motions in limine any time they anticipate introducing evidence of a defendant’s crimes or other bad acts, regardless of whether such a motion is required by law. It is important to identify, and to argue, any potentially applicable grounds for admission. This article describes the theories under which evidence of other bad acts might be admissible, depending on the law of the jurisdiction, gives examples, and offers further resources to help prosecutors overcome specific objections.


The ABCs of BAC: Toxicology for Prosecutors and Investigators

Alcohol’s unique toxicological effects, widespread use, and ease of access render it the ideal substance to facilitate sexual assault. The same factors that make alcohol such a perfect weapon also present unique challenges for investigators, prosecutors, and other allied professionals in alcohol-facilitated sexual assault (AFSA) cases. An understanding of basic toxicology principles is critical for investigators and prosecutors handling these challenging cases from investigation through sentencing to be able to hold offenders accountable for their criminal behavior. This webinar explains the toxicology of alcohol, as well as drugs, in lay terms that will help you understand how alcohol affects the body. Topics include alcohol metabolism, the disproportionate effect of alcohol on women and men, the mechanism of intoxication, an explanation of blackouts vs. pass outs, and other common toxicological issues. It also explores common issues and challenges related to the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases where alcohol is present.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1 hour of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

Following the Digital Breadcrumbs: Utilizing Technology in Sex Trafficking Prosecutions

The Internet is a haven for sex traffickers to recruit, advertise, and communicate with their victims. At the same time, these activities leave “digital breadcrumbs” to follow during an investigation. Investigators and prosecutors should work together to use the latest available resources to preserve valuable evidence that can strengthen the prosecution’s case at trial. This webinar provides practical information and investigative strategies that will assist in the identification, investigation, and successful prosecution of traffickers. It addresses how digital evidence can corroborate victim and witness testimony, support charging decisions, and reinforce evidence-based trial strategies that do not rely entirely upon victim testimony.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1 hour of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

The Prosecutors’ Resource on Sexual Abuse in Confinement

Sexual abuse in confinement has persistently presented tremendous challenges to investigators and prosecutors because of internal and external barriers to reporting, including the behaviors, actions, and decision-making power of first responders that may result in the failure to make an official report to law enforcement. Additional challenges include issues related to evidence collection and retention, identification of witnesses, and multi-level biases against inmates. This resource provides an overview of the Prison Rape Elimination Act and national standards related to a victim-centered, offender-focused investigation and prosecution of a sexual abuse in confinement. The issue discusses detailed strategy for prosecuting these cases, including investigation, pretrial, jury selection, trial testimony and sentencing.


Alcohol- and Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault: A Survey of the Law

While the absence of laws covering the assault of a voluntarily intoxicated victim is often cited as a barrier to prosecuting sexual assault cases, the laws in all 58 U.S. jurisdictions allow for the prosecution of sexual assault cases in which the victim was voluntarily intoxicated. The language in some statutes, however, may not always include the assaultive conduct relevant to a specific case. Additionally, some sexual assault statutes do include an element requiring the victim’s intoxication to be caused by a perpetrator, without the victim’s knowledge, for the purpose of perpetrating a sexual assault. Because language among these statutes is not consistent and may not specifically refer to intoxicated victims, this Statutes in Review synthesizes the similarities and distinctions among the statutory language and summarizes AEquitas’ more comprehensive analysis of rape and sexual assault laws covering alcohol- and drug -facilitated sexual assault involving penetration in all jurisdictions in the country.