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Forensic laboratory evidence in sexually abused children and adolescents.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Jun; 160(6):585-8.AP

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

To determine if forensic laboratory evidence could be recovered from alleged sexual abuse victims more than 24 hours after the event and to determine if age or historical factors could be used to determine the need for forensic evidence collections.

DESIGN

Retrospective study of hospital records matched with forensic evidence reports from the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, Little Rock.

SETTING

The emergency department at Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock.

PARTICIPANTS

Eighty children (aged <12 years) and adolescents (aged > or =12 years) who presented to the emergency department within 72 hours of an alleged event of sexual abuse or assault with genital contact.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

Cases positive for semen were correlated with age of the victim and post-event length of time to presentation to the emergency department.

RESULTS

Of the 80 subjects, 16 had positive findings for semen. All 16 subjects who tested positive for semen presented to the emergency department less than 24 hours after the alleged abuse or assault event (P<.001). Of the 16 subjects who tested positive, 13 (81%) were adolescents. None of the prepubertal children had semen recovered from any body site; semen was recovered only from clothing or linen in those 3 children.

CONCLUSIONS

Forensic evidence collections from body sites in child and adolescent rape patients are unlikely to yield positive results for semen (1) more than 24 hours after the event and (2) when taken from prepubertal patients. Consideration should be given to amending guidelines regarding forensic evidence collections in child and adolescent sexual abuse or assault victims.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children's Hospital, 800 Marshall Street, Little Rock, AK 72202, USA. youngkaren@uams.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

16754819

Citation

Young, Karen L., et al. "Forensic Laboratory Evidence in Sexually Abused Children and Adolescents." Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, vol. 160, no. 6, 2006, pp. 585-8.
Young KL, Jones JG, Worthington T, et al. Forensic laboratory evidence in sexually abused children and adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(6):585-8.
Young, K. L., Jones, J. G., Worthington, T., Simpson, P., & Casey, P. H. (2006). Forensic laboratory evidence in sexually abused children and adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 160(6), 585-8.
Young KL, et al. Forensic Laboratory Evidence in Sexually Abused Children and Adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(6):585-8. PubMed PMID: 16754819.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Forensic laboratory evidence in sexually abused children and adolescents. AU - Young,Karen L, AU - Jones,Jerry G, AU - Worthington,Toss, AU - Simpson,Pippa, AU - Casey,Patrick H, PY - 2006/6/7/pubmed PY - 2006/6/24/medline PY - 2006/6/7/entrez SP - 585 EP - 8 JF - Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine JO - Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med VL - 160 IS - 6 N2 - OBJECTIVES: To determine if forensic laboratory evidence could be recovered from alleged sexual abuse victims more than 24 hours after the event and to determine if age or historical factors could be used to determine the need for forensic evidence collections. DESIGN: Retrospective study of hospital records matched with forensic evidence reports from the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, Little Rock. SETTING: The emergency department at Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock. PARTICIPANTS: Eighty children (aged <12 years) and adolescents (aged > or =12 years) who presented to the emergency department within 72 hours of an alleged event of sexual abuse or assault with genital contact. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cases positive for semen were correlated with age of the victim and post-event length of time to presentation to the emergency department. RESULTS: Of the 80 subjects, 16 had positive findings for semen. All 16 subjects who tested positive for semen presented to the emergency department less than 24 hours after the alleged abuse or assault event (P<.001). Of the 16 subjects who tested positive, 13 (81%) were adolescents. None of the prepubertal children had semen recovered from any body site; semen was recovered only from clothing or linen in those 3 children. CONCLUSIONS: Forensic evidence collections from body sites in child and adolescent rape patients are unlikely to yield positive results for semen (1) more than 24 hours after the event and (2) when taken from prepubertal patients. Consideration should be given to amending guidelines regarding forensic evidence collections in child and adolescent sexual abuse or assault victims. SN - 1072-4710 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16754819/Forensic_laboratory_evidence_in_sexually_abused_children_and_adolescents_ L2 - https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/10.1001/archpedi.160.6.585 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -