Lubricants and Glitter: Revolutionizing Sexual Assault Investigations – October 23 at 6 PM
Sexual assaults are an unfortunate reality in modern society. While DNA is the go-to forensic evidence in sexual assault cases, the reality is that the use of condoms is increasing in an effort to minimize the type of DNA left at the crime scene, e.g. sperm/semen. Therefore, in the absence of DNA, it is necessary to identify other types of evidence that could be used to link the three points in the criminal triangle, i.e. victim, suspect and crime scene.
One such type of evidence that has not been explored is lubricant analysis. Identifying novel capability that assist laboratories in making determinations in lubricant analysis would aid the crime lad to make connects to the assailant. Another type of evidence that commonly overlooked are cosmetic particles that may transfer during physical contact, e.g. glitter and shimmer particles.
This talk will discuss current efforts that we are conducting to understand the evidentiary value of lubricant and cosmetic evidence and appropriate analytical methods to analyze and characterize unknown samples collected in a sexual assault or physical assault cases.