According to a study
conducted by Sexual Assault Centre in Hamilton and Area (SACHA), approximately half a million sexual assaults are reported every year. Now, this does not take into account all the sexual assaults that were not reported.
Sexual offences can be of different types and natures. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that an individual can only be assaulted if he/she is walking in an abandoned alley or a parking lot late at night.
However, this is not the only type of sexual assault. Sexual assault is far more likely to occur in a home. In many cases, it has been seen that the assailant is someone the victim knows and is sometimes close with as well.
According to a recent report, “ In a random sampling of 602 reported rapes, 36.2 percent were among intimates or family members and 42.7 percent were friends or acquaintances.”
Another misconception regarding sexual offence is that there should be DNA evidence present to make a case for sexual assault. This is what mostly prevents victims from filing a report.
However, even though physical evidence such as DNA evidence makes the case stronger, a conviction can arise even without DNA evidence.
To help you understand the process even further, as one of the most trusted sexual assault defence lawyers,
we have curated this blog entailing the value of non-DNA evidence.
Also read: Misconceptions About Sexual Assault Charges In Canada
DNA And Non-DNA Evidence
When it comes to sexual assault cases, the evidence is divided into DNA and Non-DNA evidence.
DNA evidence is any tangible object that can connect a person to a crime scene. This includes biological evidence which contains DNA. In addition to bodily fluids, hair and fingerprints are the most common forms of physical evidence collected.
Non-DNA evidence, on the other hand, includes:
- Toxicology reports
- Cell phone records
- Shoe prints
- Tire marks
The Value Of Non-DNA Evidence
In sexual assault cases, where probative DNA evidence is not readily available or is of no significance, it is the non-DNA forensic evidence that ultimately leads to a conviction.
It is no secret that DNA analysis has had an unprecedented impact on the criminal justice system. Over the years, it has propelled investigations forward and made charging alleged perpetrators easier.
In a study titled “Sexual Assault Cases: Exploring The Importance Of Non-DNA Forensic Evidence”, it has been reported that 72 percent of jurors anticipate seeing DNA in a sexual assault trial and that juries are 33 times more likely to convict when presented with DNA evidence.
However, in cases where the suspect and the victim are acquainted, consent is pivotal to determining whether a crime was committed. In these situations, DNA may not necessarily be informative.
Moreover, what about the cases in which no DNA evidence exists? Or cases where DNA evidence is not eligible for entry?
It has been seen that Non-DNA forensic evidence can be used to identify a suspect, associate a suspect with a victim, associate a suspect with a crime scene, and corroborate other evidence.
Hence, it can ultimately lead to a conviction.
Report Sexual Assault
At this point, sexual assault defence lawyers, as we urge you to report any and every sexual assault encountered. Make sure you are well versed with concepts like age of consent, consent while being intoxicated and what sexual assault means under the code of conduct.
If you have any doubts, you can always reach out to trusted criminal lawyers in your area and talk about your case and any misconceptions that you might have. At Slaferek Law, we provide free-of-cost legal advice and consultation.
In a society like Canada, where the judicial system has strict laws to discourage forced sexual attempts against any gender, race, and age group, the punishments for such offences are quite severe. Unfortunately, people holding grudges against each other tend to use the system against their counterparts. Sometimes, even lack of communication or miscommunication can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations regarding consent issues.
While the reasons behind such accusations are vast, one thing is clearly common amongst them – a conviction for such an offence has the potential to destroy the life of the accused in various ways.
Hence, only experienced sexual assault defence lawyers at Slaferek Law, boasting a high success rate, can diligently represent you and fight the allegations.
We have spent years serving defending individuals and the Edmonton community against a variety of charges. Our experience and proficiency make us the best in what we do. Learn more about Slaferek Law and our practice areas.
Facing a severe assault charge? Contact us now.