Types Of Evidence That Are Used In A Sexual Assault Case

Dealing with a sexual assault charge is a thing of nightmares, and going in blind could be the reason for the downfall. It is a charge placed when any sexual act is done without the consent of the people involved. It ranges from nonconsensual touching to rape, which can take place anywhere. Hiring an assault lawyer immediately would be your best bet to give yourself a fighting chance.

Some Of The Questions That Can Directly Come Up In A Court Include:

  • Were the sexual advances or words rebutted?
  • Was the use of force or threat of force used during the alleged interaction?
  • Was the victim “persuaded” to take part in the sexual act by intimidation and use of authority?
  • Was the use of illegal substances or alcohol involved as an attempt to coerce?

Your assault lawyer in Winnipeg can guide you through the proceedings that take place after the charge, but the following three things need to be proven for a conviction:

  • Proof that the act actually took place
  • Proof of identity of the person that is charged with the assault
  • Proof that there was no consent given by the victim

Types Of Evidence

When facing an assault charge, one should be aware of the types of evidence that can be used in court against the accused. In Canada, the entire evidence submitted during the trial procedure must be considered before determining whether the accused is innocent or guilty.

1. Oral Testimony

The oral testimony of witnesses in a sexual assault trial plays a substantial role in providing evidence to the court. As a standard, the following three parties are asked to provide a testimony:

  • The alleged victim
  • The accused
  • Any other witness or participant

This list could include the police officers who investigated the charge, family and friends who may have been in touch with the victim or the accused before or after the incident, medical personnel or any other experts who may have examined the victim and others such as psychologists or counsellors.

Any witnesses, including the victim, police, expert and civilian witnesses that are subpoenaed to the court, are expected to testify. However, the accused has the right to decide after the Crown’s case has ended whether to testify or not. Winnipeg assault lawyers can be your saving grace in such scenarios because you may be confused as to what should be done.

2. Physical Evidence

Bodily fluids, including blood, saliva or semen, are often used to extract DNA and prove the accused person’s identity and involvement in the case.

Other forms of physical evidence include emails and text and social media messages, which can prove what the accused or the alleged victim has said about the incident. These messages can also be used to portray their respective states of mind before and during the time of the incident. For example, if the accused denies the charge or if the victim claims that consent was not given to a sexual act and messages prove otherwise, then this can be used in cross-examination at trial.

The factor to consider is the relevance of the physical evidence, which depends on what is happening at trial. For instance, if both parties are in agreement that the sexual act took place but disagree with its being consensual, then DNA evidence is of little use. On the contrary, it can dramatically impact the case if the accused person’s identity is at issue.

3. Video And Photographic Evidence

Since the rampant use of security devices and cell phone cameras has increased, video and photographic evidence have become quite common in assault cases. Assault lawyers can assess the cameras’ perspective since they may provide an objective view, but the one holding such evidence should also be considered. Their quality can be used to gauge the sobriety and general demeanour of the people involved.

A sexual assault case should not be taken lightly, nor any evidence overlooked since it can cause repercussions that will reverberate for the rest of the life. Assault lawyers in Winnipeg can be your support if you or your loved ones are in need of legal representation with regard to such charges.

Gerri Wiebe