Sexual Assault/Elder Abuse Bureau
Public hours of operation:
The primary duty and responsibility of the Sexual Assault Detective is to investigate all sexual assault crimes involving victims age fourteen (14) and older for the following crimes:
The Sexual and Elder Abuse Detail are one of several details that comprise the Violent Crimes Bureau. Under the command of the Violent Crimes Bureau lieutenant, the detail has one sergeant, and eight detectives. Two of these detectives are primarily assigned to investigate reports of Elder Abuse. All SEAD detectives are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. During the course of a year, an average of 1800 reports of sexual assault and elder abuse are reported to the Sheriff's Department. It is the responsibility of the SEAD staff to investigate and assist in the prosecution of those cases.
Patrol officers and SEAD detectives, are the first responders as part of a concept known as SART (Sexual Assault Response Team). SART is the multi-disciplinary team concept which combines law enforcement (Sacramento County Sheriff's Department), prosecution (Sacramento County District Attorney), medical response (University of California at Davis Medical Center), and support (Women Escaping A Violent Environment or WEAVE).
A sexual assault investigation begins with the reporting of the assault to a mandatory reporter or the Sheriff's Communications Center. Patrol officers are normally the first persons dispatched to assist the victim. Detectives may respond to assist the patrol officers and assist with interviewing victim, evaluate the crime scene (with the assistance of the Crime Scene Investigator) and contact witnesses.
The responding officer's primary concern is the safety and health of the victim. The officer will contact WEAVE and the Medical Center Emergency staff as soon as possible. This allows WEAVE and the medical staff time to prepare for the victim's arrival and ensure support and care is available in a timely manner. The reason the victim is taken to the Medical Center is to address any injuries or medical issues related to the assault. The examination may also assist detectives with the investigation.
A large number of the sexual assault cases reported involve a known suspect. The suspect might be a boyfriend, husband, acquaintance, or someone the victim recently met at a party. A victim may feel embarrassed or feel she is at fault and not report the assault. No matter what the circumstances, the Sacramento Sheriff's Department encourages all victims of sexual assault to report the crime.
In many cases, sexual assault suspects are being aided by the use of alcohol, the #1 date rape drug. Other drugs such as GHB, Rohypnol, and MDMA or Ecstasy are being used. It is important the victims report the assault in a timely manner or valuable evidence may be lost.
SEAD detectives are responsible for providing sexual assault training to officers within the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. They also instruct other law enforcement officers during a 40-hour sexual assault investigation class using the SART concept. Other SART team members, (DA's office, WEAVE, and Medical Center Staff) assist with the instruction of this course. This class, which is available to all law enforcement agencies, has students attend from as far away as South America.
The continuous training in sexual assault investigations increases the quality of care given to the victim by the first responding officer. This training enables the officer to recognize the different emotions and reactions victims may experience after a sexual assault, and respond accordingly.
SEAD Detectives are very proactive in the areas of educating the community regarding sexual assaults. Detectives assigned to the Sexual Assault Unit regularly assist WEAVE with the Teen Education program presented at junior high and high schools within the Sacramento area. The detectives have also done sexual assault presentations at local colleges and universities.
© 2013 Sacramento Sheriff's Department
711 G Street, Sacramento, CA 95814