Michigan CSC Case: The Police Investigation
The investigation of a sex crime can begin in many ways. Generally, a complaining witness will report the crime to the police. The complaining witness may also tell other people, like trusted friends and family members about the crime before going to the police. When law enforcement starts its investigation, they will gather as much information about the victim and the suspect as they can. They do this by conducting interviews and gathering physical evidence.
Police Interview of the CSC Suspect in Michigan
The police will use an officer who has specialized training in sex offenders when interviewing both the victim and the suspect. These interviews can last several hours. Victims and suspects may cooperate with the police initially, but then refuse to give further cooperation. Before speaking with law enforcement, a person accused of a sex crime should consult with an attorney. Anyone who is in police custody and who is being questioned by the police must be read their Miranda rights, which states that the suspect has the right to remain silent and has the right to have an attorney present. A waiver of these rights may result in the suspect’s statement being admissible at trial.
Multiple police interviews may bring to light different versions of the story, sometimes multiple versions from the same witness or victim. Defense attorneys may be able to use the victim’s different stories during cross examination of the victim. An investigation should also be made into whether any witness has a potential bias for or against the suspect or victim. For example, if a witness has a close familial relationship to the suspect, that witness may have a motive to lie in order to support the suspect at trial.
Investigation and Consultation with Medical Experts in a Michigan CSC Case
Sex crime investigations also include the consultation of medical experts in order to determine whether injuries are consistent or inconsistent with a sex crime. Medical experts are also needed in order to testify about physical evidence. Such physical evidence may include sperm, blood, saliva, and hair roots. DNA can be isolated from any of these sources, and DNA evidence can place the suspect at the scene of the crime. However, in certain sex crimes, the presence of sperm is not necessarily indicative of the suspect’s guilt, as the sexual contact may have been consensual.
Gathering Evidence During the Investigation of a CSC Offense in Michigan
Gathering psychological evidence may be involved in investigating a sex crime, as victims often consult therapists right after the crime occurs. The defense attorney should determine the nature and length of the therapist-patient relationship and attempt to obtain any written notes from the therapy sessions.
Finally, a sex crime investigation may include an investigation into the victim and suspect’s pasts and their reputation for truthfulness. Credibility evidence may be admissible at trial, including a witness testifying that the victim has a reputation in the community for untruthfulness. An investigation will also look into previous criminal convictions of anyone who is testifying at trial. Some convictions may be admissible to show that the witness is more likely than not lying about his testimony. Prior convictions that could be admissible include any crime with an element of dishonesty and felonies.