Volume 20, Issue 4 (October 1975)
Prostatic Acid Phosphatase Activity in the Postcoital Vagina
The criminal offense of rape has been defined in various ways by both legal and medical authorities [1ߝ4]. There appears to be general agreement that two requirements are essential for establishing the crime of rape: (1) the lack of consent of the alleged victim and (2) carnal knowledge (constituted by even the slightest penetration by the male organ). Because circumstantial evidence alone may be inadequate for proof, the physician and the forensic scientist are required to assume major roles in supplying objective information in cases of this kind. They can be called upon to furnish evidence pertaining to the above requirements. The physician assesses and describes whatever injuries and medical evidence there may be. The forensic scientist is typically concerned with demonstrating the presence of seminal fluid in locations that would indicate recent sexual activity.