Following the report of a sexual assault, are police legally obligated to take certain steps in order to aid in the investigation?

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Following the report of a sexual assault, are police legally obligated to take certain steps in order to aid in the investigation?

Immediately following a sexual assault, I had the police called. I told the responding police I had just been assaulted by someone I knew. I also told them his name and where it happened. The police did nothing to follow through with my complaint; they just dropped me off at home and told my parents that they found me crying historically for no known reason. Are the police legally obligated to follow a certain protocol, when someone reports a sexual assault or can they use their discretion, and disregard the victims complaints and/or the standard procedure of such cases?

Asked on April 17, 2012 under Criminal Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Police officers who respond to the scene of a crime or 911 emergency call are to at least document what happened as told by the victim, and make a police report detailing what they observed, who, if anyone was arrested, and to document any witness statements. From here, those officers then log the report into the system, and then officers have the discretion whether or not to submit the information to the prosecutors to determine if criminal charges will be filed.


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