[Sexual assault: medicolegal findings and legal outcomes (analysis of 756 cases)].J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod (Paris). 2007 Oct; 36(6):588-94.JG
We describe the medico-legal findings in a population of sexual assault cases assessed in an urban referral center, analyse the legal outcomes in each case and determine whether the medico-legal findings were associated with conviction of the assailant.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We performed a retrospective study of medico-legal reports in all the sexual assault cases reported in Tours during a 7-year period. Legal outcomes were obtained from courtroom proceedings. The relationship between the outcomes and the circumstances of the case was analyzed by logistic regression.
756 cases were enrolled. 68.3% of the cases involved children under 15 years old. Genital trauma occurred in 6.8% of the girls and 6% of the boys in this group. 31.7% of all the victims were aged 15 years or more. Genital injury was documented in 11.3% of the women. 36.3% of the assailants were convicted. Examination at the request of the police authorities and previous acquaintance of the assailant by the victim were significantly associated with conviction. The presence of general body and/or genital trauma was not associated with conviction.
Non-medical variables must be thoroughly collected by the medical examiner. Physical evidence of trauma was neither predictive nor essential for conviction.