Volume 23, Issue 4 (October 1978)
Detection of Seminal Fluid Constituents After Alleged Sexual Assault
Spermatozoa and prostatic acid phosphatase, identified in vaginal fluid after an alleged sexual assault, constitute important physical evidence useful in courts of law during rape trials. It has been recommended that the physician examining a victim of alleged sexual assault should promptly attempt identification of spermatozoa in a native preparation of vaginal fluid. Additionally, he should collect certain specimens that later can be evaluated in detail in a forensic pathology laboratory. The presence or absence of spermatozoa, prostatic acid phosphatase, and various blood group substances can be ascertained with a variety of laboratory methods. This study was undertaken to investigate the following items: (1) the correlation of spermatozoa detected in native preparations of vaginal fluid and of results obtained by various forensic laboratory methods; (2) the incidence of detection of seminal fluid constituents at certain time intervals following an alleged rape; and (3) the possibility that acid phosphatase detection provides additional evidence when spermatozoa cannot be identified in native or fixed preparations of vaginal fluid.