DNA Analysis Findings From 4,038 Sexual Assault Kits: Using Data to Inform Practice

Wednesday September 26th, 2018 // 10:10 am - 10:35 am // North Ballroom

A collaborative database was created in Utah to link data on sexual assault kits (SAKs) from evidence collection through submission to the state crime laboratory and DNA analysis.  Retrospective data was obtained from sexual assault examination forms completed at the time of evidence collection and crime laboratory DNA reports and coded into SPSS software package.  To date, approximately 250 variables per sexual assault kit have been coded on 4,038 cases from 2010 to 2016 throughout Utah.  Due to the large amount of data, multiple research studies are being conducted utilizing the database.

The purpose of this presentation is to share information on the DNA analysis findings from the 4,038 SAKs that were submitted for testing from 2010 to 2016 to inform practice for both forensic nursing/medical providers and forensic scientists.  The following descriptive research findings will be presented:

  • STR DNA analysis findings
  • YSTR DNA analysis findings
  • CODIS eligible profile uploads
  • Swab locations most likely to result in probative STR and YSTR DNA analysis findings
  • Variables associated with affecting probative DNA analysis findings: time from assault to evidence collection, age of victim, victim bathing or showering, victim urinating or defecating; and condom use, ejaculation, number of assaultive acts, and oral contact by assailant.

In addition, generalized estimating equation logistic regression modeling findings on the predictors associated with the development of STR and YSTR findings will be reported.  Collaborative, multidisciplinary practice implications from the study findings will be discussed.  Results from this large-scale, retrospective study will inform practice to help establish evidence-based guidelines for forensic nurses/medical providers and forensic scientists.


Private: Julie Valentine

Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University and Forensic Nurse, SANE-A, Wasatch Forensic Nurses

Julie L. Valentine PhD, RN, CNE, SANE-A is an Assistant Professor at Brigham Young University and a Forensic Nurse, SANE-A with the Wasatch Forensic Nurses. Her research focus areas are sexual violence, interpersonal violence, and criminal justice system response to sexual/interpersonal violence.

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Private: Suzanne Miles

Forensic Scientist Manager, Serology Section, Utah Dept. of Public Safety

Suzanne has enjoyed the collaborative relationships with other professionals as a member of her local SART, where they've helped bring about changes in best practice and protocols in the collection and submission of sexual assault evidence. In 2014, she received the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Distinguished Service Medal for her contribution toward sexual assault evidence processing.

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