Lubricants and Glitter: Revolutionizing Sexual Assault Investigations
Candice Bridge, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, UCF Department of Chemistry,
National Center for Forensic Science
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.
Tuscawilla Country Club
1500 Winter Springs Blvd.,
Winter Springs, FL 32708
Sexual assaults are an unfortunate reality in modern society. While DNA is the go-to forensic evidence in sexual assault cases, the reality is that the use of condoms is increasing in an effort to minimize the type of DNA left at the crime scene, e.g. sperm/semen. Therefore, in the absence of DNA, it is necessary to identify other types of evidence that could be used to link the three points in the criminal triangle, i.e. victim, suspect and crime scene.
One such type of evidence that has not been explored is lubricant analysis. Identifying novel capability that assist laboratories in making determinations in lubricant analysis would aid the crime lad to make connects to the assailant. Another type of evidence that commonly overlooked are cosmetic particles that may transfer during physical contact, e.g. glitter and shimmer particles.
This talk will discuss current efforts that we are conducting to understand the evidentiary value of lubricant and cosmetic evidence and appropriate analytical methods to analyze and characterize unknown samples collected in a sexual assault or physical assault cases.
Candice Bridge, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the department of chemistry and the National Center for Forensic Science. She received her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Bridge was a postdoctoral associate at the Center for Research and Education of Optics and Lasers at UCF before joining the Department of Chemistry faculty at Howard University. She then worked at the U.S. Army’s Defense Forensic Science Center as a Forensic Scientist and then a Research Scientist before joining UCF.
Her research focuses on the analysis of trace evidence forensic materials to understand the uniqueness of chemical features. Using a variety of mass spectrometry techniques, they look to develop analytical methods that can increase the validity and evidentiary value of forensic evidence, which is determined using chemometric statistical techniques.