Patrol officers, detectives, and other police personnel are trained to respond to sexual assault crimes. We are prepared to conduct a thorough investigation while respecting the dignity and promoting the safety of those who have been impacted by this traumatic event. You can help by considering the following:
- A sexual assault is any forced or non-consensual sexual act against a person. It may also occur against an incapacitated person where alcohol, drugs, or a disability may be involved.
- A sexual assault committed by someone you have an existing or previous dating or marital relationship is a crime.
If you’ve just been the victim of a sexual assault please remember the following:
- Do not change or wash your clothes, take a shower, bathe, wash your hands, douche, comb your hair, or eat or drink anything. Do not touch, move, destroy, or discard anything where the crime occurred.
- If you can recall any details about your assault, write them down right away. Include details such as time, date, the name of the perpetrator, race, age, weight, height, and what the person was wearing. If a car was involved, write down the make, model, color, and any other information you can remember.
- If you wish, one of the responding police officers will make the telephone call to the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center (MCRCC) for you.
- As a victim of sexual assault, you have the following rights:
- Ask for a Court Order to protect you. For protection from the attacker right away, ask a law enforcement officer for an Emergency Protection Order. (Review Protection Orders)
- You decide whether you want to report the assault, participate in the criminal justice system, or undergo a medical evidentiary or physical examination.
- A medical evidentiary or physical examination should occur as soon as possible and should be completed within 5 days of the attack.
- You can request a 24-hour-a-day confidential sexual assault counselor/victim advocate or support person(s) of your choosing present during any exam or investigative interview while sharing your story (California PC – PEN § 679.04) by contacting the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center.
- You have the right to information regarding the status and results of the analysis of all evidence related to your assault, including the DNA testing of the rape kit evidence. (Law enforcement agencies may require the victim’s request to be in writing.)
- Forensic exams for sexual assault victims are free in the state of California. If for some reason you are billed, you should contact your local Rape Crisis Center and file a complaint with the California Department of Justice’s Public Inquiry Unit
- You should know that evidence from the rape kit must be taken to the lab and analyzed within 24 months, and kept for 20 years, or until you turn 40th birthday if you were under the age of 18 when the assault happened (in unsolved cases). You have the right to be informed of the following:
- Whether or not a DNA profile of your assailant was developed from the evidence.
- Whether or not the DNA profile of your assailant was entered into law enforcement databases.
- Whether or not the DNA profile of your assailant matches a DNA profile contained in law enforcement databases.
- You can request the law enforcement officer for a tracking or report number and steps to get follow-up information; you have the right to request in writing and receive a free copy of the initial crime report related to your assault. Please visit our department’s website for the Police Report Request form or pick one up in person at the department.
- You can request information about the state (CalVCB) and federal compensation funds for medical and other costs associated with the sexual assault and any information on any municipal, state, or federal rights to restitution for sexual assault victims if a criminal trial occurs. The California Victims Compensation Board (CalVCB) helps reimburse victims for mental health counseling, loss of income, relocation, medical and dental bills, and other costs related to the assault. For assistance contact the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office Victims of Crime Unit at (831)755-5072.
- As a victim of a sexual assault, your name, address, and other personal identifying information can be kept confidential from the public and the offender.