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Michigan Sex Crimes Investigation Process

The investigation of sex crimes differs from other cases because they are going to usually involve a lot of different people. Not only will the prosecuting agency and police be investigating the sex crime in Michigan, but also there are often special units within the police department that deal with sexual conduct.

Juries and investigators often want to see not only hard concrete DNA evidence but also want to have statements from both sides. Investigations can be extensive, and it is important to work with a skilled Michigan sex crimes lawyer when going through the process of a sex crimes investigation in Michigan.

Motivation of Investigation

Generally, there is going to be an investigation and at least some evidence collected before an arrest, obviously if there is a 911 call very similar in time to when the action occurred, they will be on the lookout for somebody and they might arrest someone there as a suspect.

But even if they are trying to find the suspect, the likelihood is that there are different units coming in to take all the evidence when they begin the investigation. The investigation can take a very long time, especially for things like DNA to come back, before the prosecutor will feel comfortable making a charging decision, putting out a complaint, and giving a warrant. At the same time, there are many of those cases where somebody is caught in the act and then they are arrested and the investigation is at approximately the same time. The gross majority are going to be investigated first and then later there will be an arrest made in the case.

Investigations Prior to an Arrest

One of the problems that a person is going to encounter is that rarely is anybody caught in the act of doing one of these things. Instead it is going to generally be reported later, if there is going to be some level investigation taken before an arrest, if there is pretty clear evidence immediately that something did occur and an accusation is made then the arrest may be made very shortly, but the investigation is generally going on before the person is arrested.


There is a high level of witness testimony in Michigan sex crimes investigations. Often they come down to statements regarding whether or not an act was consensual and whether or not there was coercion involved, so in a case, an attorney needs to be able to get witnesses from all sides and they have to be able to understand how to shake the testimony, how to fully explain their client’s case, and how to essentially back up their position using the evidence that is available.

Often in investigations, there will be will include testing personnel such as scientists, doctors, and any trauma personnel giving their expert opinions. The investigators will use them to determine what actions were taken and the results of DNA testing of fluids present in these types of cases.


In addition, there are situations where witnesses are unable to recall things, in cases particularly if some drug was used. Often, individuals are not going to recall necessarily the events and then also sometimes there is a large time frame between when the actual crime occurred and when the recollection or the actual accusation is later made.

Agency Involvement

Michigan sex crimes investigations are going to involve generally a lot of different hands moving and there is going to be investigation brought forth by particular agencies. In most cases, it is going to be the police department that is going to bring a rape accusation, which is usually made to a police officer, but there are a lot of other actors that can come into play, such as doctors, therapist, or teachers. They have the requirement to report any sexual misconduct in Michigan.

If that has been reported to them or if they think that it is occurring, they have to report that as well. It can involve somebody filing a complaint through the teacher, and then eventually it will be investigated obviously by the police, depending on which jurisdiction an individual is at, the gross majority of police agencies are going to have specific sex crime personnel if not a full unit.