“If condom lubricant can be detected in fingermarks it would improve the evidence for prosecution by establishing the assailants present at the scene and, crucially, having had contact with the condom. This would enable forensic scientists to provide further support to the evidence in alleged cases of sexual assault.” Stated by Dr. Simona Francese from the Sheffield Hallam University’s Biomedical Research Centre, United Kingdom.
There has been an increase in the use of condoms by sexual offenders recently due to DNA identification and sexually transmitted diseases. It seems that offenders are becoming increasingly aware that forensics can establish their identities in these cases. By using condoms, these predators are hoping to outsmart law enforcement and forensics.
A new technique being developed at Sheffield Hallam University can prove that a sexual offender had contact with a condom and place them at the crime scene. This important link of the suspect is identified by their fingermark on the condom. Through research, scientists have discovered that they can successfully detect lubricant from two widely available condom brands on fingermarks, even fingermarks left weeks before actual analysis. Researchers used a powerful matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry imaging system to map fingermark ride patterns.
This new technique will have significant, positive results in sexual assault cases. Evolving technology will continue to help aid forensics and crime scene investigation. I hope that it will help to deter these heinous crimes in the process.