Method of Sampling 5111 Cutting

Hairs should be sampled by cutting if they appear to be contaminated by material that has the potential to have forensic significance (e.g., semen). If the patient does not consent to having the contaminated hairs cut or if it is not practical to cut them because of the extent of foreign material contamination, then the relevant areas can be swabbed (follow method of sampling given under Subheading 4.1.1.).

For drug analysis, approx 50 hairs should be cut close to the scalp at least 7 days after the substance-facilitated sexual assault (48). The ideal site for sampling is the crown of the head, although this may not be acceptable to the complainant. The hairs must be kept in line, with the cut end demarcated by a rubber band. The sampled hairs are then wrapped in aluminum foil.

Any foreign particles or hairs identified on the head or pubic hair should be collected with forceps and submitted for analysis. It is no longer considered necessary to comb the head hair routinely, because these samples are infrequently examined by forensic scientists (Lewington, F., personal communication, 1994) or are rarely pivotal to the case (49,50). However, if a balaclava or other article was worn on the head during the assault, the hair should be sampled with low-adhesive tape, which is then attached to acetate (51).

Pubic hairs may be transferred between individuals during sexual intercourse. Exline et al. (52) studied volunteer heterosexual couples who combed their pubic hairs immediately after sexual intercourse in the "missionary" position. Even under such optimal collection conditions, pubic hair transfers were only observed 17.3% of the time using macroscopic and microscopic comparisons. Pubic hair transfer to males (23.6%) was more common than transfer to females (10.9%).

Some studies on sexual offense case material have shown lower rates of pubic hair transfer between complainant and assailant. Mann (53) reported that only 4% of female complainants and no male complainants were identified as having pubic hairs consistent with the assailant hairs isolated from combings of the pubic hair, and Stone (54) identified foreign pubic hairs among the pubic hair combings of 2% of the complainants studied. However, a survey of sexual offense case material submitted to laboratories throughout the United States (55) found pubic hairs that associated the complainant and the assailant in 15% of cases. Therefore, the authors advocate that the complainant's/suspect's pubic hairs should routinely be combed onto a piece of uncontaminated paper (A4 size), with the complainant in the semilithotomy position; the paper enclosing the comb should be folded inward and submitted for analysis. Other loose pubic hairs on the complainant that are macroscopically different from his or her own pubic hairs can be collected with sterile forceps and submitted for forensic analysis.

5.1.1.3. Reference Sample for DNA Analysis

If it is not possible to obtain buccal cells or a blood sample, then one can seek the examinee's consent to obtain 10-25 head hairs with attached roots

(plucked individually while wearing gloves) for use as the reference sample. It is never necessary to pluck pubic hair.

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