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A Pilot Study: The Effects of repeat washing and fabric type on the detection of seminal fluid and spermatozoa

Nolan, A-N, Speers, S.J., Murakami, J. and Chapman, B. (2018) A Pilot Study: The Effects of repeat washing and fabric type on the detection of seminal fluid and spermatozoa. Forensic Science International . In Press.

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Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2018.05.021
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Abstract

In sexual assault cases and more specifically those involving childhood sexual abuse (CSA), victims may have had their potentially semen-stained clothing washed multiple times before a criminal investigation commences. Although it has been previously demonstrated that spermatozoa persist on cotton clothing following a single wash cycle, items of clothing washed multiple times are not routinely examined in these cases because of the assumption that the laundering process would have removed all seminal fluid and spermatozoa. The aim of this study was to examine the persistence of seminal fluid and spermatozoa on a range of fabric types including cotton, nylon, terry towel (100% cotton), polyester fleece, satin and lace which were laundered up to six times. Three techniques were used for the detection of seminal fluid and spermatozoa: an alternative light source, acid phosphatase test and microscopy. The study demonstrated that spermatozoa persisted on cotton and terry towel following six wash cycles. This data emphasises the need to recover and examine items of clothing and bedding of victims for semen, even if the item has been washed multiple times.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2018 Elsevier B.V.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/40999
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