Forensic Testing In Rape and Incest Cases

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These samples must maintain a sterile chain of custody and documentation must be accurate throughout the testing.

Rape and incest cases are still happening on a daily basis throughout North America resulting in babies being born with identified fathers. Unfortunately, since these criminal acts often result in conception, forensic testing must be done to determine the legal paternity of the father; thereby, providing necessary evidence allowing charges to be pressed against them that will stand up in court.

For the purpose of forensic testing, in rape and incest cases, various samples are collected and processed including blood, semen, buccal swab from inside the cheek, or foetal tissues. These samples must maintain a sterile chain of custody and documentation must be accurate throughout the testing.

Because of the sensitive nature of this crime, and because of the fear of wrongful conviction, all samples are tested twice to ensure accuracy. Today, forensic testing often exceeds the courts requirements, as well as the requirements of the FBI, which often asks for extended testing, which can be used to support paternity test results.

At the crime scene, if stains are located on bed or bath linens, clothing of any type, or feminine products, the stains can be tested for evidence of semen. If semen is found then a detection test can be done to find out if there is any usable DNA to conduct a comparison forensic test.

Semen testing today is so refined that it can separate out female DNA in a rape or incest case, from male DNA, leaving no doubt, which the offending male was. The only time semen evidence is allowed, other than by hospital testing, or by an unbiased third party, is if an officer has collected the evidence at the crime scene following the correct collection procedures. Other than that, this testing is not acceptable by the courts.

Paternity testing is designed to identify the father, not matter what the situation is, and are rated as 99.9% accurate; therefore, it leaves little wiggle room for the offending male to walk away uncharged once identified in a forensic DNA test as the father of the child.

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