Juvenile Sexual Assault
What is the mission of the Sexual Assault Juvenile Detail?
The Sexual Assault Juvenile (SAJ) Detail conducts sexual abuse investigations and enforces sexual abuse laws within the LVMPD jurisdiction in order to ensure the safety of children and prosecute the offenders.
Which crimes against children does the SAJ Detail investigate?
The SAJ Detail is responsible for investigating sexual abuse crimes against children. More specifically, per NRS 432B.100, acts upon a child constituting:
- Incest under NRS 201.180;
- Lewdness with a child under 201.230;
- Sado-masochistic abuse under NRS 201.262;
- Sexual Assault under NRS 200.366;
- Statutory sexual seduction under NRS 200.368;
- Open and gross lewdness under NRS 201.210;
- Mutilation of the genitalia of a female child under 200.5083; and
- Sexual Exploitation of child under 432B.110
Does the SAJ Detail cross-report with Clark County Department of Family Services - Child Protective Services?
Actually, the SAJ detail works closely with CPS under a multi-disciplinary team called SAINT (Sexual Abuse Investigative Team). SAINT was opened on the Child Haven campus in 1990 to provide a multi-disciplinary and child-friendly approach in investigating sexual abuse. This special collaborative team provides forensic interviews, medical examinations and therapeutic services to child victims of sexual abuse and assault. An estimated 500 children and their families receive services each year through SAINT.
Members of the team represent:
- Law Enforcement
- District Attorney's Office
- Child Protective Service
- Medical Personnel, and
- Mental Health Counselors
Click here for more information on CPS.
What are some possible warning signs of sexual abuse a child may display?
Trauma to genitals/anus, Sexually transmitted diseases, Painful urination or defecation Inappropriate knowledge and /or sex play for age, Uninhibited and aggressive sexual behavior, Unusual marks to the body, Presence of foreign matter: saliva, semen, pubic hair, Runaway or delinquent behavior, Alcohol/drug abuse, Suicide ideas and/or Expressing sexual abuse concerns verbally or in writing.
Who is required to report sexual abuse suspicions/allegations?
Persons required (mandated reporters) to report sexual abuse per 432B.220 are:
- Any child care institution or facility
- Any agencies that provide child welfare service
- Any officer or employee of law enforcement or probation
- Health care personnel
- Psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists
- Clergyman, unless the knowledge of the abuse is from an offender during a confession
- Any teacher, administrator, librarian or school counselor.
How can a report of sexual abuse be made?
ANYONE can report sexual abuse by telephone, in person, in writing or electronically to any law enforcement agency or any agency responsible for the welfare of children. In Clark County, the best method to report a non-emergency sexual abuse allegation is by calling the Clark County Child Abuse Hotline: 399-0081, or the LVMPD non-emergency phone number: 828-3111. A call taker will evaluate your report and determine the best and most expedient method of referring the report to an investigating/enforcement body.
If a child is in immediate danger, always and without delay call 9-1-1.
How are sexual abuse investigations conducted?
The typical procedure/sequence of events for conducting a sexual abuse investigation is as follows:
- A law enforcement investigator partners with a Child Protective Services specialist to conduct the investigation.
- A forensic interview with the child is conducted regarding the sexual abuse allegation(s). (Note that NRS 432b.270 provides that we may interview possible victims of sexual abuse at any location without the parents' consent or knowledge.)
- Interviews with witnesses and other significant persons are conducted.
- An interview with the suspect is conducted.
- Physical evidence including photographs, body fluids, clothing, bedding, etc. is gathered.
- If appropriate, have a sexual assault exam performed on the victim by qualified medical personnel in a child-friendly environment.
- Complete the investigation, and either close the case with no further action or present the case to the Clark County District Attorney's Office for prosecution.
Why are child interviews generally conducted without their parents present?
NRS 432b.270 provides that investigators in the process of conducting a lawful child abuse investigation may interview possible victims of abuse at any location without the parents' consent or knowledge. Often in sexual abuse investigations, the perpetrator of the sexual abuse has a family relationship with the child/victim. The goal of a child interview is to obtain all the pertinent information the first time so the child does not need to be interviewed a second or third time. Some children find it difficult to talk about sexual abuse issues with their parents present and may withhold important information. While it is not our intention to interfere with a parent's role, our objective is to keep children safe.
Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
Las Vegas Child Advocacy Center
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
National Children's Advocacy Center
Office of Justice Programs
National Child Abuse Hotline info
Adult Survivors of Child Abuse