Due process is essential after any criminal charge, and the consequences of a guilty verdict in a sexual offense case make definitive proof absolutely imperative. What most people think of when it comes to proof in this type of case is DNA. As the National Institute of Justice notes, prosecutors are more likely to decide to prosecute when there are documented signs of violence, and when DNA is presented in a case, the likelihood that the jury will convict the defendant rises 33 times higher.
This, in spite of the fact that when a sexual assault kit reveals what seems to be DNA evidence, it does not necessarily provide proof that a crime occurred, nor does the presence of non-DNA forensic evidence, such as fingerprints, hairs and fibers. Ultimately, the fairness of the use of forensic science depends on those who analyze the evidence to recreate the events and the way they present this to the court.
On the other hand, according to The New Republic, corroborating evidence is not always present when a judge or jury determines that someone is guilty of sexual assault. Instead, cases may rest on the biases of those listening to the stories of the prosecution and the defendant, and their apparent credibility in court.
The reason for this is in part because often, and especially in cases involving children, there are no physical symptoms of an assault. In response, some believe that what is considered evidence could be much broader, even including psychological symptoms, or memories of the location or environment where the event allegedly occurred that may be verified.