Seminars & Training

March 7, 2016

The Challenges of Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault


This session will discuss the crime of drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) and its impact on victims, law enforcement, toxicology laboratories, and society. The challenges of this crime include the drugs used, the reporting of the crime, proper evidence collection, and the toxicological analyses of specimens. The challenge associated with strong, central nervous system depressants used to commit DFSA emphasizes their pharmacological effects and how these drugs create difficulties in the investigation. For example, while sexual assaults in general are significantly underreported, the drug effects in DFSAs further complicate victims’ reporting to law enforcement. Any delay in reporting decreases the ability of a laboratory to detect the presence of drugs or metabolites in useful evidentiary specimens. Finally, differences in instrumentation and mission from one laboratory to the next will affect the ability of a laboratory to provide unequivocal identification of DFSA drugs or metabolites in these cases. While the true prevalence of DFSAs may never be fully recognized, acknowledgement of the many challenges that come with these cases provides insight as to how to improve chances of successfully investigating allegations of a DFSA.

Seminar Information:

Lead Instructor: Marc A. LeBeau, PhD
Senior Forensic Scientist of the Scientific Analysis Section of the FBI Laboratory
Location: Harless Auditorium, Cabell Huntington Hospital, Huntington, WV
Time: 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM

About the Presenter

Marc A. LeBeau, PhD, is the Senior Forensic Scientist of the Scientific Analysis Section of the FBI Laboratory covering the disciplines of chemistry, cryptanalysis, footwear and tire tread, firearms and toolmarks, metallurgy, questioned documents, trace evidence, and research. He worked as a Forensic Examiner for the FBI from 1994 to 2000 and has testified as an expert in federal, state, and county courts throughout the United States. From 2000 to 2011, Dr. LeBeau served as the Chief of the Chemistry Unit for the FBI Laboratory. He was employed in the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s Office in Missouri, before beginning his career with the FBI. Dr. LeBeau has co-authored numerous peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals, as well as book chapters and abstracts. He has provided training to thousands of law enforcement officers, forensic scientists, attorneys, medical professionals, and rape crisis counselors throughout the world. Additionally, in 2001, he co-edited Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault: A Forensic Handbook.

As a Fellow of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT), Dr. LeBeau is active in numerous scientific organizations. He has been a member of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT) since 1995. From 2000-2010, he served as Chairperson of the Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault Committee and is a Past President of SOFT. Additionally, Dr. LeBeau is the current President-Elect of The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT), is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), represents the FBI Laboratory as a Commissioner on the National Commission on Forensic Science, and is the Chairman of the Toxicology Subcommittee of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees.

Dr. LeBeau is on the editorial board of a number of scientific journals including the Journal of Analytical Toxicology and Forensic Toxicology. He currently is an Assistant Editor for Forensic Science International and has served as Guest Editor to the Journal of Analytical Toxicology, the Journal of Chromatography B, Forensic Science International, and Forensic Science Review. In 2004, Dr. LeBeau won the FBI Director’s Award for Outstanding Scientific Advancement. In 2008, he was the recipient of the End Violence Against Women (EVAW) International Visionary Award. More recently, Dr. LeBeau was awarded the 2015 Alexander O. Gettler Award by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.