Investigation & Prosecution of Sex Crimes in Rockville
In this page, Rockville sex crimes attorney Kush Arora speaks about how sex crimes are investigated and treated in Montgomery County. He touches specifically on some of the things that make sex crimes cases unique among other types of criminal cases. If you have been accused of a sex crime call and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case today.
How Are Sex Crimes Treated In Rockville Court?
Sex crimes are probably treated as the most serious types of criminal charges in the Rockville court system next to homicide cases. In homicide cases, the person who actually was the victim of the offense is no longer available to testify. So it’s sometimes challenging for the government to put a case together unless there are witnesses or video surveillance or things that could tell exactly what happened.
In most sex offense cases, the victim is alive and available to testify, and as such, the prosecution has enough opportunity to work with them to build a case. Sometimes they take up to a year to attempt a successful prosecution of the case. When they work with those victims for an extended amount of time, they get to learn more about the alleged victim, and their case can become stronger. They are very serious about these kinds of prosecutions.
In Montgomery County, there is a particular unit of the state attorney’s office that handles only sex crimes related cases. Those prosecutors receive special training in this particular arena, they receive special skills on how to deal with victims, and they have training on how to handle evidence and they have training on how to provoke witnesses. These prosecutors are usually people who don’t handle any other kind of cases. When a person is assigned to a Montgomery County sexual offense prosecution unit, he or she usually stays there for throughout their career.
How Is The Investigation In Sex Crime Cases Different From Other Cases?
Special Investigative Units
Sex crimes cases are usually investigated and prosecuted by special units of the police force and the prosecutor’s office. Sex crimes cases are investigated with a great deal of care because the collection of evidence is usually something that is very different from other crimes. For example, if there is DNA that’s to be found on the victim’s body or around her or in the area where an incident took place, the collection of that evidence is going to be handled by people who are experts at the collection of that kind of evidence—whether it’s blood, semen, fluid or something else that’s related to the criminal act. Additionally the process of examining a victim of one of these types of crimes is also to be handled by people who had experience of this particular area of evidence collection.
Particularly in rape cases, when a rape kit is, conducted not only is a special kind of nurse required who will conduct that rape kit, but the police officers and detectives who are assisting that nurse in the processing of the rape kit also have special training not only in making sure the evidence is collected properly, but also in handling the very sensitive nature of this kind of an examination and the fact that the victim may be at a very vulnerable place.
The Matter of Consent
Many times, sex related cases involve people who know each other, it is very unusual (particularly in a place like Montgomery County) for parties of sex offenses not to know each other. This fact can sometimes make the investigation, prosecution, and defense even more complicated. When people know each other, they may have been in a relationship with each other, and they may have been in a consensual relationship that was sexual in nature.
Oftentimes, the information that comes to light during the course of these cases is that there is a question about whether there was consent or there was a lack of consent in the activity that’s being alleged as a criminal activity. There are also questions that come up about motives to fabricate, particularly on the part of the victim. There are things that come up in sex offense related criminal cases that are different than in other cases because of the relationships that the parties had to each other and also, these are the very sensitive kinds of evidence collection that take place.