What Counts As Evidence In Sexual Assault

Wisconsin laws broadly define sexual assault, with different degrees of sexual assault depending on the seriousness of the charge. Sexual assault may be anything from unwanted sexual touching through another person’s clothing to penetration or rape. If you’ve been accused of rape or sexual assault, you’re likely worried about your future and potential legal consequences or justifiably angry about being falsely accused. No matter your circumstances, your rights should be protected, and a skilled Wisconsin sexual assault defense lawyer can help.

Physical Evidence

Physical evidence is probably the most important piece of evidence in a sexual assault case. It can demonstrate whether the accused had physical and/or sexual contact with their accuser. The accuser’s attorney may use multiple pieces of physical evidence to try to prove guilt, such as:

  • DNA
  • Results of a sexual assault exam, or “rape kit”
  • Toxicology that shows the accuser was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or had specific substances in their body, which could be used to claim that they could not consent to sexual contact.

Physical evidence may be collected from the accuser and the scene of the alleged crime and then processed in a crime lab. A sexual assault defense lawyer may demand to see physical evidence in their client’s case.

Witness Testimony

The witnesses in a sexual assault case are often limited to the parties involved. In some cases, other people may have witnessed an interaction between the parties. However, a witness’s interpretation of the events they saw may be biased. This is why it’s important to hire a criminal defense lawyer. A criminal defense attorney can investigate the character of the accuser for truthfulness and prior examples of dishonesty to attack the accusations and, indirectly but critically, also attack the accuser.

Victim Testimony

Victim testimony is a critical part of a sexual assault case. The alleged victim may have to tell a judge or jury their version of what happened. However, there are two sides to every story, and your lawyer may challenge what a witness says.

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs)

A critical piece of evidence in a sexual assault allegation is provided by sexual assault forensic examiners. Wisconsin Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) are medical professionals specifically trained to perform forensic medical exams, document findings, and collect evidence of sexual assault. They also provide advocacy support services to victims. They may also follow up with patients for forensic or medical purposes. If an accuser seeks a SANE exam, the evidence could have a significant impact on a case. 

Consult A Criminal Defense Attorney For All Your Legal Options

If you’ve been accused of sexual assault, don’t wait to hire a criminal defense attorney. Even accusations of sexual assault can damage your life and reputation. Depending on the evidence presented, you could lose your rights and freedoms. Being involved in a sex crime case can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone.

Contact Attorney Christopher T. Van Wagner today and learn more about your legal options.

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