Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits

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STATE OF NEW YORK

EXECUTIVE CHAMBER

633 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10017

GEORGE E. PATAKI                                                      CHAUNCEY G. PARKER

GOVERNOR                                                           DIRECTOR OF                                                                                              CRIMINAL JUSTICE

November 10, 2003

TO: All Interested Parties

FROM: Chauncey G. Parker

RE: Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault

I am pleased to announce the release of a standardized Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA) evidence collection kit. The Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) was asked by various disciplines to create such a kit to be used when a sexual assault has occurred and there is suspicion that drugs were used to facilitate the assault. We have worked very closely with the Forensic Services Unit in DCJS, the New York Prosecutors' Training Institute, state and local laboratory personnel, individual prosecutors, several sexual assault nurse examiners, and other individuals to ensure that this kit meets standards that all disciplines require. The kit is composed of two grey-topped blood tubes and a urine container for collection of specimens. The kit also contains instructions for use, a laboratory information form, and a consent form for authorization of release. Hospitals may receive the kits free of charge from DCJS by calling the Violence Against Women Unit at (518) 457-9726. Enclosed you will find a laminated poster which details signs and symptoms of DFSA and provides instructions on what to do if such a case presents itself. Please post in your hospital's emergency room - or sex crimes unit if your agency is a law enforcement one.

In addition, I would like to take this opportunity to let you know that many counties in New York State have specialized Sexual Assault Examiner (SAE) programs. Enclosed is a fact sheet explaining these programs, and the philosophy behind them. Laboratory personnel tell us that evidence collected by trained SAEs is very often superior to that collected by non-trained SAEs. In addition, research conducted by DCJS found that prosecutors view SAE programs as a valuable resource in achieving successful outcomes in sexual assault cases. Many prosecutors believe the involvement of a SAE in a sexual assault case makes it more likely that the victim will remain committed to prosecution; and they credit that to the compassionate care and support shown by SAEs. DCJS funds many SAE programs, both urban and rural. We have recently established a goal of ensuring that we have a SAE site in the top 20 counties in New York State with the highest rape statistics. The DCJS website has a map of where the SAE programs are located within New York State. You can access the map via www.criminaljustice.ny.gov. Please check the website periodically for updates on new SAE sites.

If you have any questions regarding the DFSA Evidence Collection Kits or Sexual Assault Examiner programs, please call the DCJS Violence Against Women Unit at (518) 457-9726.

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