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Impact of medico-legal findings on charge filing in cases of rape in adult women.
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2011 Nov; 90(11):1218-24.AO

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess the impact of the medical documentation and biological trace evidence in rape cases on the legal process.

DESIGN

Retrospective descriptive study.

SETTING AND SAMPLE

Police-reported cases of rape of women ≥16 years old in the Norwegian county of Sør-Trøndelag from January 1997 to June 2003.

METHODS

Police data were merged with data from the Sexual Assault Center at St Olav's Hospital. Charged and non-charged cases were compared.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

Medico-legal findings and legal outcome.

RESULTS

A total of 185 police-reported cases were identified. Of the 101 cases examined at Sexual Assault Center, charges were filed in 18 cases. Extragenital injuries were documented in 49 women; five were life threatening. Anogenital injuries were documented in 14 women; eight had multiple anogenital injuries. Documentation of injuries was not associated with charge filing. In only 33% of the cases were swabs collected from women's genitals used as trace evidence by the police. When used, this increased the likelihood for charge filing. A DNA profile matching the suspect was identified in four of the 18 charged cases and in only one among the 54 non-charged cases.

CONCLUSIONS

Half of the women had one or more documented injury. Only one-third of the trace evidence kits collected from the women's anogenital area were analyzed. The analysis of swabs was associated with charge filing, regardless of test results. Increased use of such medical evidence, especially in cases of stranger rape, may ensure women's rights and increase available information to the legal system.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Public Health and General Practice, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. cecilie.hagemann@ntnu.noNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21793810

Citation

Hagemann, Cecilie T., et al. "Impact of Medico-legal Findings On Charge Filing in Cases of Rape in Adult Women." Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica, vol. 90, no. 11, 2011, pp. 1218-24.
Hagemann CT, Stene LE, Myhre AK, et al. Impact of medico-legal findings on charge filing in cases of rape in adult women. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2011;90(11):1218-24.
Hagemann, C. T., Stene, L. E., Myhre, A. K., Ormstad, K., & Schei, B. (2011). Impact of medico-legal findings on charge filing in cases of rape in adult women. Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 90(11), 1218-24. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0412.2011.01246.x
Hagemann CT, et al. Impact of Medico-legal Findings On Charge Filing in Cases of Rape in Adult Women. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2011;90(11):1218-24. PubMed PMID: 21793810.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Impact of medico-legal findings on charge filing in cases of rape in adult women. AU - Hagemann,Cecilie T, AU - Stene,Lise E, AU - Myhre,Arne K, AU - Ormstad,Kari, AU - Schei,Berit, PY - 2011/7/29/entrez PY - 2011/7/29/pubmed PY - 2011/12/14/medline SP - 1218 EP - 24 JF - Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica JO - Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand VL - 90 IS - 11 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of the medical documentation and biological trace evidence in rape cases on the legal process. DESIGN: Retrospective descriptive study. SETTING AND SAMPLE: Police-reported cases of rape of women ≥16 years old in the Norwegian county of Sør-Trøndelag from January 1997 to June 2003. METHODS: Police data were merged with data from the Sexual Assault Center at St Olav's Hospital. Charged and non-charged cases were compared. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Medico-legal findings and legal outcome. RESULTS: A total of 185 police-reported cases were identified. Of the 101 cases examined at Sexual Assault Center, charges were filed in 18 cases. Extragenital injuries were documented in 49 women; five were life threatening. Anogenital injuries were documented in 14 women; eight had multiple anogenital injuries. Documentation of injuries was not associated with charge filing. In only 33% of the cases were swabs collected from women's genitals used as trace evidence by the police. When used, this increased the likelihood for charge filing. A DNA profile matching the suspect was identified in four of the 18 charged cases and in only one among the 54 non-charged cases. CONCLUSIONS: Half of the women had one or more documented injury. Only one-third of the trace evidence kits collected from the women's anogenital area were analyzed. The analysis of swabs was associated with charge filing, regardless of test results. Increased use of such medical evidence, especially in cases of stranger rape, may ensure women's rights and increase available information to the legal system. SN - 1600-0412 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21793810/Impact_of_medico_legal_findings_on_charge_filing_in_cases_of_rape_in_adult_women_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0412.2011.01246.x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -