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The persistence of semen on cotton fabric in various water environments

Beckwith, S., Murakami, J. and Chapman, B.ORCID: 0000-0001-7518-6645 (2020) The persistence of semen on cotton fabric in various water environments. Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, 52 (2). pp. 155-164.

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Biological evidence that can generate a DNA profile is considered highly important evidence in sexual assault cases. As ejaculate evidence is unlikely to be found on intimate swabs after 24 hours, textile evidence is of significant importance in such cases. Fabric garments may be exposed to water, potentially to remove evidence, or due to the location of a decedent. To determine the effects of exposure to various water types, semen-stained cotton underwear was exposed to tap, swimming pool, river, and ocean water for up to two weeks. For detection of semen stains, narrow-band, fixed wavelength lighting was minimally successful, while acid phosphatase testing with an extended cut-off was highly sensitive. Spermatozoa were undetectable on fabric samples soaked in ocean water for 12 hours, and swimming pool water for one week, with no upper limit of detectability noticed for tap or river water, although a decreasing trend was noted.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd.
Copyright: © 2018 Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences
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