Author Topic: Sex cases stay on back burner...  (Read 1751 times)

Shwa

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Sex cases stay on back burner...
« on: December 29, 2008, 10:28:38 AM »
From the Toronto Sun:  http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2008/12/29/7869701-sun.html

Unsolved homicides aren't the only cases being revisited thanks to advances in forensic technology.

Amidst the files upon files of open cases in the Toronto Police sex crimes unit is a section dedicated to those victims whose closure through an arrest has never come.

"I have about 150 cases now that would be considered cold cases that I have some sort of forensic evidence, but no offender to link them to it," said Det. Brad Hoover, who heads the sex crimes cold case section.

Before the creation of the National DNA Databank in June 2000, "there was no such thing as DNA as far as a case," Hoover says.

Two years later, Toronto cops teamed up with the Centre of Forensic Sciences to review all outstanding cases, he said.

"There's no specific timeframe that says after two years or after six months or after a year or after five years it becomes a cold case," he said. "It's sort of based on the main investigators from the floor, when they run out of leads to follow or investigative avenues to follow, then they'll send it back to me.

"We look at the availability of DNA, fingerprints, sometimes composite drawings," Hoover said. "Forensic evidence is a big thing we look at."

Hoover's section finds DNA links to about "five or six" offenders each year. "That's five or six more than we would have had before. And some of those are to multiple cases, where we've now linked two or three offenses together committed by the same person.

"We have cases from the early 80s and mid-80s that we still have on file that we're hoping forensically that we will be able to link to an offender someday," Hoover said.

But even if the forensic evidence is there, it may not be enough to close the case.

"It's always an individual, case-by-case consideration we make. Some people, until the offender is caught, they don't get closure," Hoover said. "But it depends on the victim.

VICTIM DECIDES

"If I was notified today of some forensic evidence that led me to solve a case, but the victim decided that at this point in her life she didn't want to continue with it, we wouldn't pursue it any farther than that. We take our lead from their perspective and their wishes. "

A victim's reluctance to move forward doesn't necessarily mean a closed case, Hoover added.

"In five years, the victim may change her mind," he said.

"We continually try to maintain some contact with them when possible, to work with them not only from a criminal perspective to apprehend the offenders, but to make sure that their safety and well-being is looked after."


lostlinganer

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Re: Sex cases stay on back burner...
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2008, 10:59:14 AM »
I don't get it Shwa.... Det. Hoovers mandate or rational (whatever) -

Quote
"If I was notified today of some forensic evidence that led me to solve a case, but the victim decided that at this point in her life she didn't want to continue with it, we wouldn't pursue it any farther than that. We take our lead from their perspective and their wishes. "

A victim's reluctance to move forward doesn't necessarily mean a closed case, Hoover added.
[/i]

I think I can understand that some victims way of dealing is to just "put it behind them and block in all out  "  ..everybody has different ways of coping.  Be that as it may, the fact that it has been established there's a dangerous offender in our midst (to say the least as his crimes can escalate in nature, as well as mulitiply, even over a short period) one would expect the need to pursue the case to the fullest extent, in order to stop this predator/criminal.  ..ergo, I know the case, technically remains open;  but the intensity of the investigation should ensue - even if it means an act of parliament to secure evidence from the alleged victim/s.  The case and evidence should not just lay on a desk, waiting to be compared to the next victim.  imo anyway.

Shwa

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Re: Sex cases stay on back burner...
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2008, 12:12:46 PM »
Yeah that does sound weird, but...

If it were DNA evidence - which would more or less get someone cold without witnesses, they might decide to persue a case since there is a great chance of conviction.  But if there is some other forensic evidence that would require witness testimony then what he is saying is that they leave that up to the victim, who would more than likely be the main prosecution witness.  If there is little chance of conviction it could be that they wouldn't lay charges.

But I always figured that, in sex assault cases anyways, that it is the police who press charges and not the victims.  If there was a serial rapist and some victimes chose not to testify, but others did, I am sure the police would lay the charges.

Adrian

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Re: Sex cases stay on back burner...
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2008, 01:40:27 PM »

Shwa:
Quote
But I always figured that, in sex assault cases anyways, that it is the police who press charges and not the victims.  If there was a serial rapist and some victimes chose not to testify, but others did, I am sure the police would lay the charges.

Apparently not all rape cases are reported, by the victim. In fact, the police, don't even know about them. Some gals, and guys, are too embarrassed, or feel they put themselves in that position by there own stupidity. By that, I mean, say I went to a bar, and left with a stranger. I may have met him earlier, and he asked to sit down, join the table so to speak.By allowing him into my space, gabbing, maybe dancing, and he seeming such a great guy, lowered my guard.I accept his ride home.

Instead he drives to a secluded spot, my judgement impaired, and he attacks me, rapes me.,maybe slaps me around some, throws me out and takes off.I have the choice of going straight to the hospital, for a rape kit, and pursue charges against the said perp. Or I go home, feeling like a real dunce, hurt, embarrassed, ashamed, belittled, and start to think of the ramifications...

Cops, friends, people talking, people thinking I am a whore, and what did I expect anyway? All this could go thru my head, and I may NOT be strong enough to go forward with trying to lay charges. Rapists rely on this re action, and that is why so many are not reported.

Now say I saw his picture in the paper a few years later, and he was a known rapist., who was getting more violent, I would have to speak to the police, if I never said anything before. I would have to explain why I never tried to press charges. I was  scared and terrified, as well as upset at my own failure to get him arrested.

The point is, it is still up to me. Right or wrong. If I don't go to the police, they don't know anything anyway. If I do go to the police, years after the fact, I have to prove I was raped.The police also have to investigate.

I wish that all rape victims, do go to the police and lay charges as soon as possible, but it doesn't always work that way. Men, teens, have a horrific time of saying they were sexually assaulted.Younger males will often think that they will be known as a wimp, or gay, and keep it hidden, a festering wound, that never really goes away.

I hate stuff being kept on the back burner, but there is still stigma attached to being a victim of rape.Not everyone is able to cope. I wish all cases could be cleared up, and Justice Served, even years later...I am glad that DNA is saved. I wish I could present myself better.

PS: Say I did press charges( if I knew the perp), or reported the rape, and years later were called to testify, I would. But not all victims have the strength, and continue in the victim mode all their life.Rape must be accepted as a crime against humanity, and treated as such. JMO...


Chris

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Re: Sex cases stay on back burner...
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2009, 06:24:13 AM »
I hope there is a lot of scared rapists out there, waiting for the day.....