Sexual crimes: different perspectives.



Benomran FA.

Department of Forensic Medicine, Dubai Police General Headquarters, Dubai, UAE.

J Clin Forensic Med. 2002 Mar;9(1):1-4.


In this paper an attempt has been made to emphasize certain facts pertinent to countries in which the legal definition of sexual crimes includes consented heterosexual relations between unmarried adults (fornication). Relevant Articles of one such statute, namely the Libyan penal code, have been cited and discussed. Within that legal definition the presentation of the involved parties would obviously differ from the usual presentation in the Western world where the presence of a victim is almost always essential. Delayed presentation, being the rule rather than the exception, sometimes leaves the examiner no choice but to reflect on clinical examination alone. Although important clues may be obtained, especially from examining the hymen of the alleged virgins, it should only be considered with caution. Without the support of laboratory evidence, the forensic medical examiner’s opinion is neither complete nor infallible. Making careful inferences based solely on the morphology of the hymen is sometimes essential, but excessive speculations without discernible grounds should not be a basis for a medico-legal opinion. Guidelines to that effect are also included for the forensic medical examiner to consider.

Keywords: hymen,fornication