Volume 26, Issue 3 (July 1981)
The Importance of Examining Skin and Hair for Semen in Sexual Assault Cases
In some cases of sexual assault, the only laboratory proof of the allegation is by examining hair or skin for semen. The anatomic areas examined, depending on the history of the event, are head and facial hair and the skin of the perioral area, medial aspects of the thighs, and the buttocks. Head hair is clipped and eluted in saline, from which Pap smears and acid phosphatase determinations are made. The skin is smeared with saline-soaked cotton applicators, from which the above tests are run. Positive skin tests of the thighs or buttocks are also helpful in setting the time of the event and substantiating the allegation of rape, depending upon the history of bathing. Eight cases that illustrate these facts are presented.