Sexual offenders are increasingly reported to use condoms while committing the crime, mainly to prevent the transfer of DNA evidence. Although condoms are often removed from the crime scene, vaginal swabs can be taken from the victim to prove the presence of condom lubricants and therefore evidence of corpus delicti. However, late reporting to the police and the tendency of the victim to wash immediately after the crime, may compromise the detection of condom lubricants. Recently we showed that Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation MS Imaging (MALDI MSI) of condom contaminated fingermarks enables images of the fingermark ridge pattern to be obtained simultaneously with the detection of the condom lubricant for two condom brands, thus becoming a potential alternative way to link the assailant to the crime. Building on the value of this information, it would be advantageous to identify the condom brand used during the sexual assault. Here we show the development of a multidisciplinary spectroscopic approach, including MALDI MSI, MS/MS, Raman microscopy and ATR-FTIR spectroscopy, applied to a range of condom brands/types. The techniques have complementary features and provide complementary information to retrieve a “condom brand spectroscopic fingerprint”. Unique spectroscopic profiles would greatly aid in the screening and identification of the condom, thus adding intelligence to the case under investigation.
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