Volume 45, Issue 3 (May 2000)
Clothing Damage Analysis and the Phenomenon of the False Sexual Assault
This paper describes three recent false sexual assaults examined at the Victoria Forensic Science Centre laboratory where clothing damage analysis assisted in the resolution of the case. Suspected false reports of sexual assaults are often sensitive cases with little other forensic evidence. Any evidential value that can be obtained is thus valuable in order to minimize any ordeal to the complainant and any suspect and to conserve valuable resources. The findings illustrate the application of clothing damage analysis in a cross section of confirmed false sexual assault reports and the fact that the forensic examiner should be aware of the potential evidential value of this kind of analysis. Furthermore, the corroboration of a victim's scenario when the investigator has doubts may be no less valuable as it may minimize the adversarial ordeal that is often faced by a rape victim.