15.370 - Sexual Assault Investigation

Effective Date: 03/01/21


This policy applies to officers investigating sexual assaults.

1. Patrol Sergeants Screen Reports of Sexual Assault to Determine Police Response

Sergeants will screen sexual assault calls with SAU when:

- The suspect is unknown and there is a crime scene

- There is a serious injury to a victim 12-years old or younger

See 14.060-Serious Incident Plan

2. Officers May Interview Sexual Assault Victims

Officers may conduct and record an interview of a sexual assault victim to establish the elements of the offense and capture the victim’s initial account of the event. These interviews are not in-depth written statements.

Victim interviews constitute a law enforcement purpose and may be recorded with body-worn video inside a medical facility.

3. Patrol Officers Process Some Sexual Assault Scenes for Evidence

Officers will process sexual assaults crime scenes for evidence, or request an Evidence Specialist, when SAU or CSI does not respond.

Officers may interview sexual assault suspects.  See 6.150 - Advising Persons of Right to Counsel and Miranda

- Officers will record in the Report if the suspect was interviewed, given Miranda and if an attorney was requested.

Also see: SPD Evidence Packaging/Submission Guide

4. Officers Complete a Report and an Officer Statement

Officers will complete a brief report to include:

- Whether sexual penetration occurred;

- The identification of the suspect if known;

- Whether there was forcible compulsion.

Officers will complete a detailed officer statement.

Officers will ask a victim, witness or complainant if they want their information disclosed or not disclosed.  See Seattle Police Manual 12.080 and Public Records Act (RCW 42.56)

5. Officers Check Indecent Exposure Arrestees’ Criminal History

If the suspect has prior convictions for any sex crime, including indecent exposure, any new offense becomes a felony.

- The prior conviction can be from out-of-state

- If there is a prior conviction, the suspect is booked for Investigation of Indecent Exposure

15.370-TSK-1 Patrol Officer Investigating a Sexual Assault Incident

1. Contacts the victim and determines immediate medical need.

2. Determines suspect identity and/or description.

3. Updates Communications with suspect information.

4. Requests a sergeant and additional support if needed.

5. Determines location of the crime scene.

6. Processes crime scene, or requests an Evidence Specialist, if SAU or CSI does not respond.

7. Identifies witnesses.

8. Collects addresses and phone numbers of the victim and witnesses.

9. Obtains a signed Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information (form 3.2.2) from the victim.

Note: If the victim is at the hospital, checks with the hospital staff to determine if the release is already signed.

10. Collects all of the victim’s clothing worn during and after the assault and submits to Evidence.

Exception: If the victim’s clothing is collected by the hospital, the clothing stays with the hospital for pick-up by SAU who will place it into Evidence.

11. Completes a brief Report.

12. Establishes elements of the crime.

13. Completes a detailed officer’s statement.


Adrian Diaz, Chief of Police
Address: 610 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104-1900
Mailing Address: PO Box 34986, Seattle, WA, 98124-4986
Phone: (206) 625-5011
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