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DNA Evidence in Sex Crime Cases

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Apr 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

DNA evidence can be a powerful tool for law enforcement and prosecutors when it comes to sex crime cases.  It's basically a way other than somebody's word that they can prove that there was some sort of sexual contact between two people.  However, it is not an exact science.

It's not a perfect science and a lot of times just because there's some sort of DNA doesn't necessarily mean that a particular defendant or subject is guilty of a sex crime.

I recently did a case in downtown Los Angeles and basically my client was adamant that he had nothing to do with having any type of sexual contact with the alleged victim in the case.

We had a DNA expert appointed to the case to basically challenge the prosecutor's DNA expert and evidence.

One example of how DNA evidence can be attacked in a sex crime case relates to what happened in this particular case.  Basically, my client's DNA or possible DNA was on the alleged victim.

However, the expert made it clear that DNA can be transferred from one person to another in a myriad of different ways.

For example, if you slept in the same bed, if you took a bath in the same bathtub, and a host of other ways that DNA – especially depending on the strength of the DNA – there can be innocent reasons for a transfer of DNA.

After my cross-examination of this so-called expert of the prosecutors, it was abundantly clear that it was possible that it was my client's DNA, but it was also possible that it was his son's DNA, and I believe the son is 11 years old.

So, that then began to support the argument that there was no sexual contact in this particular case, and in fact, it was likely an innocent transfer.  Further, there was also an argument that it was not my client's DNA.

That's the type of case that the prosecutors are going to have a hard time proving beyond a reasonable doubt if that DNA evidence is their main focus as far as proving a particular defendant guilty of a crime.

Legal Arguments in DNA Sex Crime Cases

There are many different arguments when it comes to DNA evidence in a sex crime case in Los Angeles that can be utilized in order to defend the case.  The reality is that there's no cookie-cutter approach where you do the same thing every single time when it comes to a DNA case.

The bottom line is you have to look at the facts of the case as a defense attorney and you have to listen to what your client has to say about their involvement or alleged involvement in the case.

You have to listen to their version of events, and then obviously, what I do is I utilize my twenty-five years of experience to decide how we're going to attack DNA evidence in a particular case.

An example of where DNA evidence could be used effectively in a sex crime case is a case that I had not too long ago where my client told the detective in the case that he had absolutely no sexual contact with the alleged victim.

The detective said okay, and months later after the DNA came back from the SART examination – which is basically where the victim goes to the doctor or hospital with a nurse and they check for DNA among other things – they were able to determine that my client's DNA was found on the victim.

So, obviously this was powerful evidence that he did have sexual contact with the victim and that's a case where not only will the DNA evidence help the prosecutors, but also the fact that he didn't tell the truth about it will show guilty knowledge and that's going to make it a very tough road as far as proving him innocent.

That's of course not the end of it, but DNA evidence can be used very effectively in a sex crime case by both the prosecution and the defense.

I've had numerous occasions where I've actually used the prosecutor's own expert against them and then combine with my own expert and had a very successful.

But again, it depends on the facts of the case and what the evidence shows and what a defense attorney can bring to bare by way of expert testimony, common sense, your client's version of events, and of course, my experience of having done a lot of these cases.

Next Step in Your Defense

So, what I have you do in a sex crime case – especially where DNA is involved – is we sit down in the privacy of my office and we go over everything.

Obviously, I expect you to be truthful and let me know what happened and then you and I devise a plan moving forward to properly defend you and to end up with the best result that takes into account your freedom, your reputation and all the things that you hold important in your life.

Related Pages: Rape | Statutory Rape

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.


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