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0640.20 Sexual Assault Kits and Sexual Assault Investigations

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
Policy number
PPB-0640.20
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640.20, Sexual Assault Kits and Sexual Assault Investigations

Refer:

  • ORS § 163.355 to 163.427 Sexual Offenses Against Persons
  • ORS § 107.705 Family Abuse Prevention Act Definitions
  • ORS § 181A.322 to 181A.326 Melissa’s Law
  • ORS § 418.747 Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Child Abuse
  • DIR 640.10, Crime Scene Procedures
  • DIR 640.30, Child Abuse Investigations
  • DIR 660.10, Property and Evidence Procedures
  • DIR 825.00, Domestic Violence, Arrests, and Restraining Orders

Definitions:

Anonymous Kit: A sexual assault forensic evidence kit collected from a victim who either has not made a decision to participate in the prosecution of the perpetrator or the sexual assault, or has chosen not to participate in the prosecution of the perpetrator of the sexual assault.

Anonymous Reporting of Sexual Assault: When a victim of a sexual assault does not want to report to law enforcement, but chooses to disclose their abuse to a medical provider who can perform a forensic medical exam to preserve evidence.

Family or Household Member: Spouses; former spouses; adult persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption; persons who are cohabiting or who have cohabited with each other; persons who have been involved in a sexually intimate relationship with each other within two years immediately preceding the filing by one of them of a petition to circuit court for relief; unmarried parents of a child.

Non-family Member: Any person not listed as a family member, including neighbors, friends, teachers, and other temporary child custodians and strangers.

Sexual Assault: Any unwanted sexual contact from an individual, by means of touching the sexual or other intimate parts of a person or causing such person to touch the sexual or other intimate parts of the actor for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of either party, is considered an offense under Oregon State laws. The commission of or attempted commission of a sexual offense chargeable under State laws include rape, sodomy, unlawful sexual penetration, sexual abuse, and purchasing sex with a minor.

Sexual Assault Victim Advocates (SAVA): Volunteers from either a local non-profit organization specializing in serving victims of sexual assault or from the District Attorney’s office. These individuals respond to police requests through the Bureau of Emergency Communication (BOEC) to stay with a victim through hospital evaluation and care while also providing support and advocacy as needed.

Policy:

1. In accordance with Oregon State law, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) shall designate a point of contact to serve as both PPB’s Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Program Coordinator and liaison to the Oregon State Police (OSP). This individual serves as a bridge between the two organizations and will be a resource for victims of sexual assault seeking information on their particular cases. PPB shall ensure that the contact information for the SAK Program Coordinator is communicated to local medical facilities and organizations that work with the Bureau to assist victims, thereby providing those affected by sexual assault with the knowledge on who to engage for further assistance.

2. Contact with first responders is critical to a victim’s decision as to whether or not to move forward in the criminal justice system and to the victim’s recovery. Although it is necessary for members to investigate the crime scene, potential evidence, and suspects, members must also be sensitive to the difficulty of the situation for the victim. Bureau members are expected to use the following procedures when responding to a sexual assault.

Procedure:

1. Responding Member Responsibilities.

1.1. If emergency medical treatment is required, members shall request ambulance transport for the victim to the nearest hospital or the hospital of their choice.

1.2. Members shall ensure they advise victims of the following:

1.2.1. If a sexual assault occurred within the past 120 hours, members shall inform the victim that they have the option to have a forensic medical exam to collect evidence, also known as a sexual assault kit (SAK), for a criminal investigation at no cost to them.

1.2.1.1. If the victim chooses to go to the hospital for an exam, members shall advise them not to eat or drink, bathe or change clothes prior to the examination, since evidence present on the victim’s body and/or clothing may be destroyed or contaminated. Members shall also request through BOEC for a SAVA to respond to the hospital and if possible, members shall conduct an interview with the victim in the presence of the SAVA.

1.2.1.1.1. If a member is present at the time that a SAK is collected and the victim has not received contact information fora SAK liaison from another source, the member shall provide the victim with contact information for the Bureau’sSAK Program Coordinator who is responsible for receiving all inquiries (telephonic or otherwise) regarding SAKs.

1.2.2. For an incident older than 120 hours, a forensic exam is not necessary because DNA evidence deteriorates with time and may no longer be present. Members shall inform the victim of this but also explain that they can still go to the hospital for a wellness exam at no cost to them.

1.3. Members shall call the Forensic Evidence Division (FED) so they can take photos of the victim and the scene.

1.4. Members shall determine the location of the clothing worn by the victim during and/or immediately after the sexual assault. If the victim is still wearing the same clothes worn during the assault, recommend the victim bring a complete change of clothing to the hospital due to possible seizure of the clothes. If the victim is not wearing the same clothes worn during the assault, collect as evidence the clothes the victim wore during the assault if not yet laundered.

1.5. Members shall gather physical evidence in accordance with Section 4, Evidence Disposition.

1.6. Members shall forward reports of sexual assault in which the victim and suspect are family or household members to the Domestic Violence Reduction Unit (DVRU). The DVRU Supervisor may consult with the Sex Crimes Unit (SCU) Supervisor to determine if specific cases would be better investigated by SCU.

1.7. Members shall complete an appropriate police report submitted through their Responsibility Unit and forward a copy to the Detective Division prior to the end of shift.

2. Detective Division Responsibilities for Sexual Assault Investigations.

2.1. In the event detective contact is needed, responding member(s) shall inform their supervisor. The supervisor shall make contact with the Detective Division who shall determine the appropriate response.

2.1.1. An SCU Detective may be requested and assigned when the victim(s) are 14 years old and older and the perpetrator is a non-family member.

2.1.1.1. The suspect is in custody for:

2.1.1.1.1. Rape I.

2.1.1.1.2. Sodomy I.

2.1.1.1.3. Sex Abuse I.

2.1.1.1.4. Unlawful Sexual Penetration I and II.

2.1.1.2. Cases in which an individual 18 years old or older decides to report an offense that occurred when they were a juvenile shall be referred to SCU detectives.

2.1.2. A Child Abuse Team (CAT) Detective may be requested and assigned when the victim(s) are under 18 years old and the perpetrator is a family member.

2.1.2.1. The suspect is in custody for:

2.1.2.1.1. Rape I.

2.1.2.1.2. Sodomy I.

2.1.2.1.3. Sex Abuse I.

2.1.2.1.4. Unlawful Sexual Penetration I and II.

2.2. Circumstances required for Detective notification:

2.2.1. The victim is able to articulate a crime has been committed or the member is able to determine a crime was committed,

2.2.2. The crime is no more than 120 hours old,

2.2.3. The victim is willing to cooperate with an investigation, and

2.2.4. The nature or complexity of the crime requires a detective response.

2.2.5. A detective sergeant or shift sergeant may determine a detective response is necessary when circumstances do not fall within the above criteria.

2.3. The Detective Division’s Responsibility Unit (RU) Manager shall determine which unit will investigate cases that involve both sexual assault and domestic violence.

2.4. The Detective Division shall investigate further and coordinate with the District Attorney’s Office.

3. SAK Program Coordinator Responsibilities.

3.1. The SAK Program Coordinator located in SCU shall receive all inquiries (telephonic or otherwise) from victims regarding their SAK. This Bureau member shall also serve as a liaison between PPB and OSP, being responsible for coordinating and communicating information on a victim’s behalf.

3.2. Upon request by a victim, the SAK Program Coordinator may provide details regarding the victim’s personal SAK to include, but not limited to, the following information:

3.2.1. SAK Testing location and date;

3.2.2. Testing results;

3.2.3. Whether a DNA sample was obtained from the SAK and if so, whether or not there are matches to DNA profiles in state or federal databases.

3.2.4. The estimated date of destruction for the SAK.

3.3. In the event that a victim makes an inquiry but providing the requested information interferes with the investigation or prosecution of a case, the SAK Program Coordinator shall not disclose details but rather, provide an explanation for why they cannot release the information.

3.4. The SAK Program Coordinator shall respond to a victim’s inquiry concerning their SAK as soon as practical, but no later than 30 days from the inquiry.

3.5. The SAK Program Coordinator shall document any request from a victim to have a designee access information on their behalf. The SAK Program Coordinator shall inform the victim that written authorization must be provided to PPB to ensure that access is granted to the appropriate person.

3.6. When requested by a victim to either reclassify an untested non-anonymous kit to an anonymous kit or reclassify an untested anonymous kit as a non-anonymous kit, the SAK Program Coordinator shall notify OSP of the reclassification.

4. Evidence Disposition.

4.1. Upon receiving notification from a medical facility that a SAK has been collected, a sworn member shall retrieve the SAK within seven days.

4.1.1. Members shall collect anonymous kits as well as SAKs at the request of outside agencies when a victim is reporting within Portland jurisdiction. This is commonly referred to as a courtesy report.

4.1.2. Upon retrieving a SAK, the member shall scan the kit bar code using the Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System (SAKTS) mobile app to ensure chain of custody.

4.2. Once in possession of a SAK from the medical facility, members involved in investigating sexual assaults shall ensure evidence is appropriately packaged by the involved hospital, complete a Property/Evidence receipt, and transport the evidence to the Property and Evidence Room.

4.2.1. Clothing and other evidence with body fluids are considered biohazardous. Members shall refer to Directive 660.10, Property and Evidence Procedures, for more information regarding proper delivery of these items. Members should use the following recommended precautions when handling biohazardous evidence:

4.2.1.1. Wet body fluids and dry blood: Rubber gloves, mask, and eye protection.

4.2.1.2. Dry body fluids and dry blood: Rubber gloves, and, if available, mask and eye protection.

4.3. The Property and Evidence Division (PED) shall submit the SAK to OSP for forensic testing within 14 days from the time of receiving the SAK from a medical facility. The SAK Program Coordinator shall provide OSP any information sufficient to allow OSP to prioritize testing.

4.4. PED shall not submit any anonymous kits to OSP for testing.

4.5. PED shall retain all SAKs, including anonymous kits, for no less than 60 years after the SAK was collected.

History:

- Originating Directive Date: 09/06/01

- Last Revision Signed: 07/1/19

- Effective Date: 07/31/19

- Next Review Date: 07/31/21

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