Investigative Process

This page will provide information about the Springfield Police Department's investigative processes for crimes involving special victims. Special victims crimes are those including, but not limited to, rape, sexual assault, domestic assault, stalking and harassment. SPD follows the Missouri Revised of Statutes' definitions to categorize all crimes, including those involving special victims. We also have Standard Operating Guidelines that outline policies and procedures to guide our employees in determining the appropriate course of action when responding and investigating crimes. 

If you choose, you may have a trained victim advocate present during any part of the process to offer guidance and support. Contact a victim advocate. 

Sex Crimes Investigations

Sexual assault occurs when a person causes or attempts to cause another to engage involuntarily in any sexual act by force, the threat of force or duress.                                                       

The Missouri Revised of Statutes considers sexual offenses as, but not limited to, the following: Rape in the first and second-degree, Statutory rape in the first and second-degree, Sodomy in the first and second-degree, Statutory sodomy in the first and second-degree, Child molestation in the first, second, third and fourth-degree, Sexual misconduct with a student, Sexual abuse in the first and second-degree

  • If you have been a victim of a sexual assault the first step is to have a sexual kit collected as soon as possible. You can have a sexual assault kit collected even if you choose not to move forward with an investigation immediately. A sexual assault kit doesn't just potentially provide DNA evidence of the attacker, but will also create a log of any apparent injuries to the victim. In Springfield, a sexual assault kit can be collected at both Mercy Hospital and CoxHealth.  What is a sexual assault kit?

Please note:   It is not mandatory to have a sexual assault kit collected in order to move forward with an investigation. You can also have a kit collected and choose not to move forward with an investigation. 

  • Once the sexual assault kit is collect you have 3 options: 

1. Report the assault - a patrol officer will come to the hospital to take your statement, write a report and collect your sexual assault kit. The kit will be sent to the  Missouri State Highway Patrol Lab for testing within 14 days of picking it up from the hospital.  

2. Make an anonymous report- A report will not be taken and you will not have any direct contact with SPD but an officer will still collect your sexual assault kit. The kit will be sent to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Lab for testing within 14 days of picking it up from the hospital.  

3. Do not report -  There will be no contact with SPD. Your sexual assault kit will remain at the hospital and will not be sent to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Lab for testing.
                                                             

  • If you do not have a sexual assault kit collected and want to move forward with an investigation, you must file a police report. You can file a report at one of SPD's stations or by calling 911.  More on how to file a police report. 
  • Once you have filed a report, the case will be reviewed by the Special Victims Unit Sergeant who will assign the case to a detective. The detective will conduct an investigation into the crime. Every case is different, but some ways in which they might investigate are by collecting more evidence and interviewing suspects and witnesses. If you had a sexual assault kit completed, the detective will also send the kit to the Missouri Highway Patrol Crime Lab to be tested (if it hasn't already been sent). It can take several months for a kit to be tested,
  • Once the investigation is complete the detective with either: 

1. Present the case to the Greene County Prosecutor's Office.

 In order for this to take place, there must be enough evidence to establish probable cause, which means the investigator believes more so than not, that the crime occurred (51%). Once the case is presented, the prosecutor will decide if charges will be filed.

2. Suspend the case. 

If the case is suspended it can be reopened at any time.

  • SPD detectives will contact the victim with updates to their case throughout the investigative process. The victim may also contact SPD at any point to ask questions or relay information that could be helpful to the investigation. Contact the Springfield Police Department.

Domestic Assault Investigations

Domestic assault occurs when a person knowingly causes injury to a household or family member or an adult who is or has been in a continuing social relationship of romantic or intimate nature. 

  • If you have been a victim of domestic assault and would like to move forward with prosecution the first step is to file a police report. How to file a police report.
  • Next steps depend on the level of crime (first, second, third or fourth degree) SPD follows Missouri Revised Statutes guidelines in deciding the severity of crimes.
  •  Third and fourth-degree assaults are investigated by the responding officer. That officer will then present the evidence to the Greene County Prosecutor's office who will then decide if charges will be filed. 
  • Reports of first and second-degree assaults will be reviewed by the Special Victims Unit Sergeant who will assign the case to a detective. The detective will conduct an investigation into the crime. Every case is different, but some ways in which they might investigate are by collecting more evidence and interviewing suspects and witnesses.   
  • Once the investigation is complete the detective with either: 

1. Present the case to the Greene County Prosecutor's Office.

 In order for this to take place, there must be enough evidence to establish probable cause, which means the investigator believes more so than not, that the crime occurred (51%). Once the case is presented, the prosecutor will decide if charges will be filed.

2. Suspend the case. 

If the case is suspended it can be reopened at any time.

  • SPD detectives will contact the victim with updates to their case throughout the investigative process. The victim may also contact SPD at any point to ask questions or relay information that could be helpful to the investigation. Contact the Springfield Police Department.