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Just Science Podcast: Just Touch DNA and Sexual Assault Groping Cases

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Date Published

This second episode of the “Research and Considerations for Sexual Assault Cases” season of the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) Just Science podcast series is an interview with two authorities - Dr. Julie Valentine, Associate Dean and Associate Professor at Brigham Young University in the College of Nursing and certified sexual assault nurse forensic examiner, along with Heather Mills, Forensic Scientist Manager at the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services - who discuss evidence collection in sexual assault groping cases.


Background information for the interview indicates that as touch DNA evidence-collection continues to develop, sexual assault nurse examiners and forensic scientists expect to improve the investigation of sexual assault groping cases. Dr. Julie Valentine and Heather Mills recently published an article entitled, “Evidence Collection and Analysis for Touch DNA in Groping and Sexual Assault Cases.” They address the application of touch DNA evidence collection in sexual assault investigations, with a focus on a groping case. In the current interview, they discuss this article, the advent of touch DNA technology, and the importance of inter-departmental cooperation.

Date Published: January 1, 2021