A wife came to ICS because she believed her husband was having an affair with another woman. He told her several different times he would be out doing errands for an extended period of time, and offered no specifics. The wife gathered four shirts that her husband was wearing at the times of his “errand” running.
The wife spoke with a case analyst at ICS, and had a free consultation discussing possible investigative techniques that could be utilized. She already knew that she wanted to test the articles of clothing for semen detection. This is referred to as forensic surface testing, and is a service provided at ICS in a laboratory. Forensic surface testing involves a fidelity testing kit (which tests articles of clothing for traces of semen), a long-wave black light, and a digital camera.
In a dark room, the investigator uses a long-wave black light to examine each article of clothing. The investigator examines all of the material with the black light to find stains on the clothing that need to be tested for semen. Once the areas have been isolated, a chemical is placed on the areas in question. The reaction will produce a specific color if the test results are positive for semen. Each article of clothing is photographed to visually document the testing results.
The outcome of this case proved to be fruitless, as all of the articles of clothing that were tested were negative for traces of semen. Conducting a forensic surface test for traces of semen is a prudent way to determine if a spouse is engaging in sexual activity outside of the relationship. However, testing for semen on shirts and other clothes could prove non-productive unless the subject kept the clothes on during sexual intercourse. It would be more prudent for forensic surface investigation to choose different types of clothing that can be tested (e.g., undergarments or pants). The more material that is available for testing, the greater the probability of a positive result if the subject has in fact acted outside the relationship.
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