Beware rapists: condom lubricant trapped in fingerprints


Rapists who think they can get away with it by putting on a condom might think twice. A new techniqu beign developed at Sheffield Hallam University may prove the rapist had contact with a specific condom and place them at the scene of the crime.

Condom use is up for sexual offenders. Probably because of sexually transmitted disease as well as the thought that without one, they may be leaving unique DNA markers behind. If their DNA is already in the system, they might as well be signing their work. This new identification method developed by researchers at teh University's Biomedical Research Centre (BMRC) can tect dondom lubricant on fingermarks left by a suspect at a crime scene.

This can link a suspect, once identified by fingerprint, to the crime in one analysis and can aid police in proving that the rape took place. It is hoped that the technique will also link the lubricant found in the fingerprints to samples from vaginal swabs.

Researchers are working now to find unique signatures for specific brands of lubricants. This would create an even stronger forensic case.

"Offenders are increasingly aware of forensic issues and it is common now for condoms to be used and removed from the scene of a sexual assault. However, they are less likely to consider the possibility of lubricant transferring onto their fintertips and then into fingermarks left at the scene," said Dr. Simona Francese, from BMRC.

Source: Sheffield Hallam University, ScienceDaily


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