The Many Roles Of The Private Investigator In Investigating Child Sexual Abuse Allegations - Part XX

By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc
There are many adventurous assignments a private investigator can choose to become involved in. If the investigator has a specialty such as investigating allegations of child sexual abuse investigations, then the investigator will need to learn a lot about the Forensic Field of Investigations. The definition of “Forensics” according to Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary is, “relating to the use of scientific knowledge or methods in solving crimes; relating to, used in, or suitable to a court of law.”

So what does a private investigator have to do to elevate themselves to a Forensic Investigator? There are several key aspects of the Forensic Investigation title that allows the title change:

   1.      The investigator must have at least 10 years of experience in investigating sex crimes allegations.
    2.      The investigator must have a Master’s Degree in one of the Criminal Justice, Behavioral,     Psychology, Forensic Science, and other degrees. 
      3.      The investigator must have interviewed over 2500 child victim interviews.
     4.      The investigator must have written articles, treatise, and/or books in their field about how to perform and conduct a sex crimes investigation.
    5.      The investigator must be recognized in the court of law as an expert in the interviewing of child sexual abuse victims, rape victims and/or provide evidence about how the sex crime was committed; provide an opinion of how the child sexual abuse investigation was conducted by law enforcement and/or other professionals responsible to conduct an investigation.
     6.      The investigator must demonstrate an expert knowledge in the field of medicine involving the genitilia examination of a sex crime victim and what the analysis of the medical examination concluded.
  7.      The investigator must demonstrate an expert knowledge in the field of crime scene investigation. Specifically in how to locate, identify, collect, store and analyze trace, biological and physical evidence.
   8.      The investigator must demonstrate that each year they have attended workshops, seminars, and/or conferences totaling 24 hours for each year.
   9.      The investigator must continually work in the field of forensics dealing with the topic of various sex and Internet crimes.
  10.  The investigator must be able to review a criminal and civil case and produce an Investigative Case Analysis.
  11.  The investigator must be able to provide expert opinions on the child victim interview and investigative protocols, procedures, processes and policies for the local, county, state, national and international.
  12.  The investigator must be involved in training, educating, teaching or advising individuals involved in the criminal justice and forensics field.

In order for the Forensic Investigator to bring credibility to the criminal justice field there must be criteria created by professional investigators who understand the roles and responsibilities of every investigator for the specific crimes they specialize in.

It is difficult to provide a title to a private investigator who does not meet the general criteria laid out in this article. The research that has been conducted to date about elevating a private investigator to a Forensic Investigator is non-existent. The reasons for the lack of research and studies are approximately 30 years ago the title(s) of law enforcement officer and private investigator was not necessary to elevate their status to investigate in an investigative specialized world.

Most law enforcement agencies in the early 1980’s had law enforcement officials wearing multiple hats and performing many duties. The larger agencies were specialized in the criminal investigation departments and divisions. In the smaller agencies the investigators for the most part work either property crimes or crimes against persons or both. The decision to determine what crimes the investigator works will depend where the greatest demand is.

It is difficult for a law enforcement official to advance from the title of Detective to Forensic Detective. Titles in law enforcement are important to the Detective as the Detective generally works diligently to obtain the investigative position he/she obtained. The same is true in the private sector in the field of professional investigations. A private investigator will have to work diligently to elevate his/her title to Forensic Investigator.

Over time there will be investigative professional requirements in order to work specific criminal and civil cases. The problem at the present time is the private investigators clientele do not require the private investigator to be educated, trained and/or experienced. Lawyers who hire private investigators hire them based on their appearance, their previous law enforcement experience and their specialty i.e. accident investigator, background investigator and so forth.

The future in becoming a Forensic Investigator is going to be exciting, but challenging, and very interesting as no one has established an organization which will bring about a change in the law enforcement or private industry when it comes to titles, specializations, protocols, processes, procedures, and policies. Whatever the process will be there must be integrity in promoting the changes of job positions, titles and specializations. This is one of the first articles written on this subject matter. It will take many studies, research, articles, books, presentations and so forth to bring about the positive and successful changes which are so desperately needed.

Tomorrow, the many interesting methods and techniques a private investigator has to have available to them in order to perform an intelligent and competent investigation, has yet to be developed so all private investigators clientele have the same expectations of a private investigator who specializes in child sexual abuse investigations.
The need for creative and innovative child sexual abuse investigative ideas is presently needed today, and in the immediate future to effect these changes. These changes should bring about a new level of validity, reliability, strengths and weaknesses; a new frontier in the investigative world which in the end will make a difference that other professionals in the child sexual abuse field will recognize and support the integrity of the new investigative process.

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