Frequently Asked Questions
-What to do if your child or a child you care for makes an outcry of sexual assault-
- Try not to ask any leading questions, just basic information as to who, when, where, and contact law enforcement to make a report. If the victim is a juvenile, they will be scheduled to be interviewed by a trained Forensic Interviewer as soon as possible.
- If there is evidence (clothing or bedding) used during the sexual assault, preserve the evidence for the responding officer. This also goes for any electronic communication(s) from the suspect, and any other digital evidence.
-A patrol officer will then take the initial report.
-A SANE exam (Sexual Assault Nurse Exam performed by a registered nurse who specializes in these exams) could be scheduled depending on the timeframe of the last known sexual assault provided by the child if it was within 120 hours. If the sexual assault was over 120 hours, the assigned detective will schedule the interview.
- CPS will be contacted by the officer to report the incident.
-A sexual assault detective will be assigned to your case. Investigations main # 361-485-3730
-A forensic interview will be scheduled by the assigned detective. A forensic interview is performed by a specialized interviewer at the Hope Child Advocacy Center. Forensic Interviewers are trained to interview juveniles in ways that are not leading, and allow the child to tell their story. For more information visit www.hopecenterstx.org.
-The information from the forensic interview and/or SANE, will dictate if and/or when the case gets forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for their review.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
-Why isn’t the suspect in jail yet? –
If the offender is not caught in the act, an immediate arrest cannot be made. A thorough investigation to include obtaining any and all evidence, all statements, and cooperation from victim(s) and parent are necessary for a successful prosecution. When a case has these necessary requirements met, the investigation will be completed and submitted to the DA’s Office for further review and/or presented to Grand Jury.
-What is the status of my case? –
You can contact the assigned detective or the VPD Crime Victim Liaison with any questions. The Crime Victim Liaison can be contacted at: 361-485-3758. Once the case is presented to the DA’s Office, you will need to contact their office for any updates at 361-575-0468.
-The suspect in my case was arrested, how will I know if they get out? –
You can go online and register at www.vinelink.com. Once you register for updates, you will get updates of any court hearings and if the offender is released from jail.
For more information regarding resources contact: www.hopecenterstx.org