Ct. Develops Better Test Kit For Date Rape Cases

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Prosecutors and scientists at Connecticut’s state police forensic laboratory have a new test kit designed to help authorities investigate cases of so-called date rape, the Hartford Courant says. Cases of “drug-facilitated sexual assault” are among the most difficult crimes to prosecute because the victim is typically rendered unconscious and has no memory of the crime. The new kit, which analyzes blood and urine for traces of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, will standardize the way that police and medical workers respond to rape complaints.

For years, a standard kit has been used to test for attackers’ semen or blood and to examine victims for signs of rape. Those kits did not test for signs that the victim had been drugged. The new kits include instructions for two blood samples to be tested. Drugs ranging from opiates and hallucinogens to antihistamines and tranquilizers will show up within four to 35 hours of the crime. Plainville detective Gary Blake, one of the first officers to be trained on the new kit, said that in the past, “We’d have to do a lot of running around to get the proper samples. Now, it’s in a separate kit, which makes the process much more expeditious.”

Link: http://www.ctnow.com/news/local/hc-cspkit1007.artoct07,1,1706355.story?coll=hc-headlines-local

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