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Open AccessArticle

The Interest of a Systematic Toxicological Analysis Combined with Forensic Advice to Improve the Judicial Investigation and Final Judgment in Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault Cases

1
Unit Toxicology, National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology (NICC), 1120 Brussels, Belgium
2
Unit Forensic Advice, National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology (NICC), 1120 Brussels, Belgium
3
Unit DNA Analysis, National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology (NICC), 1120 Brussels, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Félix Carvalho
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(5), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14050432 (registering DOI)
Received: 19 March 2021 / Revised: 20 April 2021 / Accepted: 1 May 2021 / Published: 4 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical and Forensic Toxicology: The Latest Updates)
The conviction rate in drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) cases is known to be very low. In addition, the potential impact of toxicological results on the case is often not well understood by the judicial authorities. The aims of this study were (1) to obtain more knowledge concerning the prevalence of incapacitating substances in DFSA cases, (2) to create a more efficient DFSA analysis strategy taking background information into account, and (3) to evaluate the potential impact of systematic toxicological analysis (STA) on the final judicial outcome. This small-scale epidemiological study (n = 79) demonstrates that ‘commonly-used’ illicit drugs, psychoactive medicines and ethanol are more prevalent in DFSA cases in contrast to the highly mediatized date rape drugs. Additionally, via case examples, the interest of performing STA—to prove incapacitation of the victim—in judicial procedures with mutual-consent discussions has been demonstrated as it led to increased convictions. However, more attention has to be paid to ensure a short sampling delay and to get more accurate information from the medical treatment of the alleged victim. This will improve the interpretation of the toxicological analysis and thus its applicability in a DFSA case. The future is multi-disciplinary and will certainly lead to an efficient and more cost-effective DFSA approach in which STA can impact the final judgment. View Full-Text
Keywords: drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA); toxicological analysis; judicial investigation; sexual assault drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA); toxicological analysis; judicial investigation; sexual assault
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wille, S.M.R.; Van Dijck, K.; Van Assche, A.; Di Fazio, V.; Ramiréz-Fernandéz, M.d.M.; Vanvooren, V.; Samyn, N. The Interest of a Systematic Toxicological Analysis Combined with Forensic Advice to Improve the Judicial Investigation and Final Judgment in Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault Cases. Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14, 432. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14050432

AMA Style

Wille SMR, Van Dijck K, Van Assche A, Di Fazio V, Ramiréz-Fernandéz MdM, Vanvooren V, Samyn N. The Interest of a Systematic Toxicological Analysis Combined with Forensic Advice to Improve the Judicial Investigation and Final Judgment in Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault Cases. Pharmaceuticals. 2021; 14(5):432. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14050432

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wille, Sarah M.R.; Van Dijck, Karolien; Van Assche, Antje; Di Fazio, Vincent; Ramiréz-Fernandéz, Maria d.M.; Vanvooren, Vanessa; Samyn, Nele. 2021. "The Interest of a Systematic Toxicological Analysis Combined with Forensic Advice to Improve the Judicial Investigation and Final Judgment in Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault Cases" Pharmaceuticals 14, no. 5: 432. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph14050432

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