How A Sexual Assault Claim Will Be Investigated

Are you the victim of a sexual assault that took place on your college campus, and you're not sure what to do about it? Know that you have the ability to pursue legal action against the person that sexually assaulted you. There will need to be an investigation into their actions, and this is what you can expect to happen.

Make A Complaint

The first step of the process will be to make a formal legal complaint against your perpetrator. While this is typically done by the victim in this situation, know that a complaint can be made by another person that is aware of what happened. The complaint is necessary to start any formal investigation into what happened.

Sit Down For An Interview

Local law enforcement will then want to sit down with you for an interview to find out more details about what happened. This is your opportunity to tell your side of the story to the police and help them determine what needs to be done to investigate the perpetrator further. You will be asked details about what happened, where it happened, who potential witnesses may be, and things of that nature.

Get A Medical Examination

You'll need to get a formal sexual assault examination as soon as possible. Part of the examination process involves trying to collect any DNA evidence that may still be present. The examination also looks for evidence of a forced sexual act, as well as things like bruising and scratches on your body. Part of the examination is not only to find evidence but to see if your story lines up with what is discovered during the examination.

Attempt A Setup Call

It's possible that law enforcement will attempt a setup call if it's legal within your local state laws regarding recorded phone calls. The goal is to have you talk to the perpetrator by phone call or text message to see if they admit to any wrongdoing. You may be told to ask leading questions that could result in an admission of guilt, such as asking why the person did what they did to you.

Interview The Perpetrator

With all the information gathered at this point, law enforcement will want to bring in the perpetrator for their own personal interview. The goal is to see if the perpetrator corroborates your story with the details you have already given. A decision would then be made about if there is enough information to arrest the person and press charges against them. 

Unsure of what you're doing in this tough legal situation? Consider working with a campus sexual abuse lawyer to help guide you through the process.