Thackeray et al evaluated factors affecting the ability to collect perpetuator DNA from a pediatric patient who has been sexually assaulted. The authors are from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.


Patient selection: pediatric patient <= 20 years of age following acute sexual assualt




bathing since assault

not done

multiple times or complete

clothing worn by the patient during the assault

still being worn

not available

linens from scene

available and unwashed

not available or thoroughly washed

patient’s acute anogenital findings



perpetuator ejaculation


wore condom

perpetuator’s age

> 18 years of age


perpetuator’s genital contact

with genitals or anus


time since assault

<= 24 hours

> 72 hours


While classic types of evidence may be best collected as soon as possible after the assault, DNA evidence can persist for some time if on clothing or linens. Although the chances of collecting evidence from the subject after 24 hours are reduced, an exam should be performed up to 72 hours after the event.


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