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SATI e-News: March 29, 2004

  

 
In This Issue:
      
     Sexual Assault News

SATI News Features

Forensic News
  • DNA Challenges

    • Lawyer wants evidence dismissed because of Houston lab closure
       
  • DNA Funding
    • Federal legislation would give a much-needed boost to the use of DNA in criminal cases
  • DNA Hits

    • DNA Matches Made on 48 Unsolved Crimes in Louisiana
    • Grand Jury Transcripts Sheds Light On Killing of Nevada Judge’s Ex-husband
    • NIJ Grant for DNA Database in Forth Worth Texas Has Aided Police
    • 3 Rape Victims Take Stand At Hearing
Promising Practices: From the Desk of the Training Director
  • From the Desk of the Training Director: So How Many Rape Reports Are False?
 
 

  **Sexual Assault News**

 
     
  SANE’s Expert Testimony Ruled Admissible by New York Supreme Court
     
 

People V Ronald Morehouse Jr., Supreme Court Of New York, Appellate Division, Third Department, 2004 N.Y. App. Div. Lexis 2779 (March 18, 2004)
 
On appeal from a sexual assault conviction, the defendant argued that the testimony of a SANE nurse was wrongfully admitted on the issue of whether the victim's injuries were "consistent with forcible compulsion" because the SANE nurse was not a qualified expert witness.
 
The court rejected the defendant's argument, ruling that "a proper foundation" was given to support the testimony of a sexual assault nurse examiner who conducted an examination of the victim at the hospital. The court reasoned that the nurse's testimony related to "visible lacerations in the victim's vaginal area and a tear in her hymenal tissue" and that her opinion that such injuries were "consistent with forcible compulsion" was reliable and admissible because the nurse's competency as a SANE was "derived from both formal training and actual experience". The SANE nurse testified that she treated five to eight rape patients a year during the eight years she spent as an emergency room registered nurse before undergoing her SANE training. She had 40 or more hours of SANE training to become certified as a SANE, involving evidence collection through gynecological examination, as well as the physical, pharmacological and emotional treatment of rape patients. Since receiving her SANE training, she had treated 41 SANE cases, assisted in another 13 and consulted in eight pediatric cases. The court noted that "'expert medical testimony need not come from a licensed doctor.”

 
 

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  Virginia SANE Program May Close Due to Low Volume – “Maryview Might Stop Taking Rape Evidence.” The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA) March 13, 2004.
     
 

In Virginia, nurses at Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center may no longer gather evidence in rape and sexual assault cases beginning in April. Eight people have required the service in the past six months – too few to ensure that nurses’ skills remain sharp and to justify the costs said a hospital spokeswoman. Portsmouth’s commonwealth’s attorney’s office pays Maryview up to $1,500.00 per victim. The hospital pay as on-call forensic nurse about $72,000 a year but does not pay for benefits. A prosecutor said the 40-minute drive to another city would be a further indignity for victims.

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  Rape Victims Deserve Prompt Medical Care.” San Antonio Express – News, March 16, 2004.
      
 

Editorial: “The lack of a sexual assault nurse examiner program at McKenna Memorial Hospital in Comal County [Texas] means that the evidence needed to prosecute assailants often is not collected in a timely manner – or at all…sexual assault victims in Comal County are handed a map and referred to a San Antonio hospital if they want the evidence collected. Understandably, many traumatized sexual assault victims refuse to make the drive… Without a rape kit, prosecution becomes more difficult. Collection of DNA and other physical evidence is crucial during the first few hours after a sexual assault. It is unconscionable to allow sexual predators to remain loose because evidence isn’t collected.”

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  U.S. Supreme Court Rules on the 6th Amendment: Crawford V. Washington  
     
 

Michael Crawford stabbed a man who allegedly tried to rape his wife, Sylvia. At his trial, the State played for the jury Sylvia’s tape-recorded statement to the police describing the stabbing, even though he had no opportunity for cross-examination. The Washington Supreme Court upheld Crawford’s conviction after determining that Sylvia’s statement was reliable. The question presented to the US Supreme Court is whether this procedure complied with the Sixth Amendment guarantee that, “[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted with the witnesses against him.”

The Supreme Court of the United States held that the use of Sylvia’s statement violated the confrontation clause because, where testimonial statements are at issue, the only sign of reliability sufficient to satisfy constitutional demands is confrontation. READ MORE

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  Getting down and dirty in an X-rated courtroom: Upcoming events could have dire consequences for future rape victims - 3/12/04 Nickey Hernandez   
     
  Vail Trail Issue – March 19, 2004
[Bryant trial analysis]

L.A. Laker superstar Kobe Bryant was in a generous mood earlier this month during his two-day stopover in Eagle for yet another pre-trial hearing in his notorious rape case. He smiled at a court bailiff who held open a door. He dashed off waves, grins and a peace sign to a dozen kids from the Eagle Valley Elementary-Middle School who made the scene to gawk at the towering NBA All-Star.

Even Hal Haddon — one of Bryant’s legal guns — was upbeat. He had a noticeable bounce in his step and a grin on his face as he walked out of District Judge Terry Ruckriegle’s courtroom. Team Kobe had reason to be giddy. They pinned the prosecution again this month and now seem poised to savage the hoop star’s young accuser in a closed hearing set for March 24. The hearing could get nasty. Experts say the accuser could be grilled about her sex life, her sex partners and her favorite sex position. Though potentially lewd and crude, the hearing will determine what kind of evidence might be presented at trial. READ MORE

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  Bryant team takes lowest road possible
Jim Spencer, Denver Post Columnist
http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~27772~1891620,00.html
 
     
 

Dr. Ed Casper, head of psychiatry at Denver Health Medical Center, didn't mince words. Kobe Bryant's attempt to beat a sexual assault charge by using his accuser's mental health treatment as a defense is "the lowest of the low." "They are going to go right to the prejudice of anyone on the jury," Casper said of a motion filed this week by Bryant's lawyers. They want people to believe that "if you have a psychological illness, you're a bad person and do bad things."

That comes through in the rape case motion. From a revelation that Bryant's 19-year-old accuser may suffer from manic depression springs a sleazy theory of the defendant's innocence:

"One of the common symptoms of mania is an 'increased sexual drive' and engaging in 'sexual indiscretions,' which may be connected to the general impulsiveness, poor judgment and reckless behavior experienced during manic episodes " wrote Bryant lawyer Pamela Mackey. READ MORE

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**SATI News Features**

 
     
  Making A Difference Scholarship Opportunity Application Deadline Extended to May 31, 2004  
     
 

In October 2003, EVAW International in the United States, and Carleton University in Canada, were awarded grants from the William H. Donner and the Donner Canadian Foundations to work with Sexual Assault Training and Investigations, Inc. SATI, Inc.. and Ed Renner, Evaluation Research, and the Founder of the National Action Plan Against Sexual Assault NAPASA to sponsor two national conferences, one within each country, to promote an integrated community response to sexual violence. 

The conferences will promote an integrated community response to sexual violence by selecting sixteen teams (eight from the U.S. and eight from Canada) as participants and awarding them scholarships to attend a three-day conference in their respective country

A minimum of six, and ideally up to eight individuals from each of eight community teams will be awarded scholarships to attend the conference. Those accepted will receive full conference support to attend the conference, e.g., registration fee, training material, hotel accommodations, travel expenses and conference meals. Each community team MUST have a minimum of six participants; two from law enforcement, advocacy and prosecution. A team may include participants unique to the SART in each community. One of the representatives from prosecution may be a representative from the Victim/Witness Assistance Program within the prosecuting attorney’s office. 

The U.S. Conference will take place in San Diego, California October 26-29, 2004. For more information about the scholarship opportunity and the Making a Difference Conference click on EVAW: Making a Difference Click here to download the complete application. If you need assistance with the U.S. application, please call EVAW International at (509) 684-9800 or e-mail joanne@evawinc.com A list of frequently asked questions will be posted on EVAW International and NAPASA's web site soon. 

Because of printing delays, the application deadline has been extended from April 30, 2004 to May 31, 2004. 

 
 

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  MADD Considering Including Sexual Assault in a School Outreach Program Video, Executive Producer, Cheryl Gould, Needs Your Assistance  
 

 
SATI has received an appeal from Cheryl Gould, an Executive Producer, working with MADD to produce a school outreach program. For the first time, they are considering including a sexual assault where alcohol is involved, not necessarily a drug facilitated sexual assault, but an assault where alcohol is used to facilitate the crime and increase the victim's vulnerability. Many of us have been working to show the relationship between sexual assault and alcohol for a long time. This is an important opportunity. Cheryl is trying to locate a survivor who will share her story. If you can help her, please contact her directly at the number that follows the program description below: 

“BACKSTAGE PASS”
SCHOOL OUTREACH PROGRAM VIDEO
FOR MADD (MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING)

MADD is committed to developing educational programs about the problems of underage drinking as well as drinking and driving. Each year, MADD produces a multimedia video, which reaches 1 – 3 million secondary school students throughout the U.S. This show includes real life stories about teens, who have suffered consequences related to underage drinking.

This year, we want to include a story about sexual assault as a consequence of binge drinking. Ideally, this story involves a young woman (aged 14 to 19), drinking alcohol at a party with guys her own age or older. It is important that the alcohol consumption play a pivotal role in why the assault occurs.

The victim’s story will be videotaped and, if she prefers, her identity can be shielded. An award-winning female director will direct her. The participant must be able to describe the events, her feelings, and what she would like other young women to know to avoid a similar situation. Her description doesn’t need to be graphic, but she must be able to speak honestly about the events. The videotaping may take several hours. The finished story will run approximately 2- 4 minutes.

This is such an important issue; please help us find a brave young woman who is willing to tell her story.

Please contact:
Cheryl Gould
Executive Producer
cgould@aviatech.com
858-777-5000 ext. 5002

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  OVW and the IAFN to Host 3-day Working Meeting to Develop National Training Standards for the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Protocol, Near Completion  
     
 

Under the Violence Against Women Act of 2000, the Attorney General is required to develop sexual assault training standards for licensed health care professionals. OVW, www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo has been tasked with accomplishing this mandate, in addition to developing a national protocol on sexual assault exams, also required under VAWA 2000. A preliminary daft of the protocol was distributed in July 2003 to many experts for review and input. Dr. Michael Weaver and Diana Faugno, RN, SANE, will be discussing some of the recommendations made in the draft and how they could impact your programs at the 4th International Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Conference, presented by SATI, Inc.. and STOPDV, Inc., April 7-9, 2004. Although the final protocol will not be available for the San Diego conference, Diane Stuart, Director of OVW has announced that the protocol is near completion. OVW and the IAFN will be hosting a 3-day working meeting in June to develop training standards.

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  The Miles Foundation asks you to send an appeal to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld expressing concern about sexual and domestic violence associated with the U. S. Armed Forces  
     
 

The Miles Foundation, asks you to send an appeal to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld expressing concern about sexual and domestic violence associated with the U. S. Armed Forces. Urge the Pentagon to address the issue fully by adopting emergency protocols and practices, and establishing long-term solutions such as developing a military wide protocol to standardize an effective response within the services including Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFEs); Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs); and Domestic Violence Response Teams (DVRTs). Emergency protocols must include making sexual assault and rape evidence kits available at the unit level; supplying personnel, including prosecutors, with training and education to conduct competent criminal investigations and collect and process evidence; and ensuring that victims are informed of their rights and the status of an investigations. In addition, a privacy privilege for victims and survivors within the services should be established.
 
Contact information:
 
The Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld
The Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301
Fax: 202-647-1811
Email: Please go to the Department of Defense comment page at:
http://ermsapps-web.afis.mil/cgi-bin/rightnow_DefenseLink.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php and submit your appeal. 

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  NSVRC Conducting Survey on Collaboration  
     
 

In June 2004, a meeting sponsored by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), U.S. Department of Justice, will be held to begin to develop national strategies to facilitate improved collaborative responses to sexual violence. The planning committee for this meeting includes representatives from OVW, the STOP Technical Assistance Grants Project (STOP TA Project), VAWA state grant administrators, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), the Sexual Assault Coalition Resource Sharing Project (RVP), National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA), the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence (NCDSV), the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs (OJJDP).

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**Forensic News**

 

 The following news summaries in this section are reprinted with permission from the
DNA Legislation & News, published by Smith Alling Lane.

 
     
  DNA Challenges  
     
 

“Lawyer wants evidence dismissed because of lab closure.” The Associated Press State & Local Wire, March 16, 2004. In Texas, a Houston attorney wants a judge to throw out DNA evidence against his client accused in a 1993 murder after learning about the closure of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s DNA lab last summer. The regional lab where the case was processed was shut down for three months after an internal audit revealed several procedural problems at the lab, but the lab did not inform law enforcement officials and attorneys. Enforcement
 
“Convict’s Attorneys to Argue for New Trial.” Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), March 12, 2004.
 In Louisiana, hearings will begin in April for a man convicted of a 1999 murder. Recent DNA tests show that evidence collected from the crime scene belongs to another inmate (incarcerated for manslaughter). At the time of the original trial, the jury was told that the evidence (a ski mask) did not match the man, but he was found guilty anyway. Subsequent tests on the ski mask and on gloves matched the other inmate instead. This other inmate has reportedly told other inmates that he committed the crime.

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  DNA Funding
     
 

“Broadening DNA Use.” Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts), March 15, 2004. Editorial: “Federal legislation pending in the U.S. Senate would give a much-needed boost to the use of DNA analysis in criminal cases. The bill before the Judiciary Committee would boos significantly the funding for DNA analysis now available to local law enforcement agencies. To start, the $775 million grant program would focus on eliminating the backlog of unanalyzed DNA samples in crime labs throughout the United States. It also would fund expansion and upgrading of local, state and federal crime labs and train personnel to do DNA analysis. It would ensure access to DNA testing for federal and state prisoners, including those who are indigent.

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  DNA Hits  
     
 

“DNA Matches Made on 48 Unsolved Crimes.” The Associated Press State & Local Wire, March 16, 2004. In Louisiana, 48 unsolved crimes, mostly rapes, have been tentatively linked by a statewide DNA database to people already in jail. The matches are the product of private labs in New Orleans, Virginia and Texas analyzing evidence that had not been processed in about 500 cases. Another 500 cases are scheduled to be tested. So far, about 41,500 offender samples have been collected and 15,000 uploaded into the database.

“Grand Jury Transcripts Sheds Light On Killing of Sparks Judge’s Ex-husband.” The Associated Press State & Local Wire, March 16, 2004. In Nevada, a court was told that DNA evidence links the boyfriend of a judge to the murder of her ex-husband. DNA evidence includes white surgical gloves and a bloody surgical glove fragment with the suspect’s blood. Investigators also said that a baseball cap found in the victim’s kitchen, where a struggle took place, was matched through DNA to the suspect.

“Grant for Database Has Aided the Police.” Fort Worth Star Telegram, March 14, 2004. In Texas, state and national DNA databases have matched 12 unsolved Forth Worth rapes and 1 homicide to convicted offenders and linked four sexual assaults to other unsolved rapes. DNA analysis on these cases was made possible through a federal grant administered by the National Institute of Justice. Under a law that went into effect in September 2001, there is no statute of limitations on sexual assaults in cases where DNA evidence has been collected and processed. In Texas, CODIS has aided 565 investigations, with 245 hits linking an unsolved case to a known offender.

“3 Rape Victims Take Stand At Hearing.” The Daily Oklahoman, March 13, 2004. In Oklahoma, a man has been charged with 29 counts of rape, kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, robbery with a dangerous weapon, sodomy and first-degree burglary, after DNA evidence linked him to sexual assaults of nine women dating back to 1996. Police got a break in a six-year-old investigation last fall when the crime lab found that DNA evidence linked the seven cases to the same attacker. The suspect had been arrested in 1997 on a rape complaint under similar circumstances. The victim in 1997 identified the suspect, but she refused to cooperate with the police investigation.

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  Promising Practices: From the Desk of the Training Director:  So How Many Rape Reports Are False?  by Joanne Archambault, Training Director, SATI, Inc.  
     
  After literally decades of feminist lobbying and demands for better treatment of rape victims, many police agencies across America are still stuck in a 1950s-era view of sexual assault.

Despite the official promises that victims would be treated with sensitivity, police frequently don't understand how to achieve that goal. And although thousands of dedicated law enforcement officers want to do the right thing, there often is little support for sex crimes investigators. Rape complaints often are not properly investigated when police departments don't allocate the necessary resources to do the work or train their investigators.

In my 25 years of work as a police officer, sergeant and now as an independent consultant, I’ve seen dramatic improvements in some law enforcement agencies. But others have shown little progress. I’ve seen problems in tiny sheriff’s offices, in big city departments and in the FBI.

The number of officers who come up to me at lunch, after class or during a break to tell me they rarely respond to a valid complaint of sexual assault is surprising to me. Recently, a 22-year female veteran of a state police agency told me she had never investigated a valid complaint in her entire career. Two detectives recently approached me and said they had not received a single valid sexual assault complaint in the five months they had been assigned to their specialized Unit. When I asked these detectives about the details of the cases they had been assigned, they generally cited a number of reasons for believing the allegation to be false, such as alcohol and/or drugs being involved or the fact that the victim was uncooperative. READ MORE

 
     
 

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