According to the latest statistics from the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office, the number of forensic medical exams in the parish is increasing.
A forensic medical exam is for any and all sexual assaults, including rapes. It also includes incidents where a woman or any victim may have been kissed on a neck or anywhere or groped against his/her will. Not all incidents have to be reported to the police. For example, in a domestic matter, a woman can request an exam but may feel too scared to report it to the police immediately. The law allows up to one year for victims to file a police report.
EBR Coroner Dr. Beau Clark’s office performs the forensic medical exams and then provides the results to the investigating law enforcement agency, who then submits it to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab to analyze.
Between Jan. 1, 2022-Aug. 18, 2022, the EBR Coroner’s Office has performed 157 forensic medical exams, compared to 124 in the same time frame in 2021 and 112 in 2020.
2022 is on par to set a record year given the number of exams performed already this year.
In 2020, there were a total of 177 exams all year long and 197 in all of 2021.
The increasing number indicates an increasing number of victims coming forward claiming sexual assaults, including rapes.
One of the most recent sex crimes was at the Forest Community Brec Park at 13900 S. Harrell’s Ferry Rd. It happened after 2pm on Wednesday, Aug. 17th. A woman in her 40s was sexually assaulted and beat up in broad daylight near the playground at the park.
The victim was bruised and bleeding from several cuts. She was transported to an area hospital.
That’s just one of the cases that was reported and made headlines. However, several sex crimes’ victims feel embarrassed or as if they’re at fault and try to handle it quietly. It’s why officials say always watch your surroundings.
“I consider it a vital part of my duties to provide for compassionate treatment of sexual assault victims that present to our area hospitals,” said Dr. Clark. “Our mission is to ensure that all available forensic evidence is recovered in each case to assist in the identification and prosecution of perpetrators of these offenses.”