Rape and Sexual Assault Investigations: Navigating the Unthinkable

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Emergency: 911
Non-Emergency: 804-501-5000

The following is a detailed explanation of what to expect, in general, during the course of a rape or sexual assault investigation.

Step One: Detective Responds
An on-duty detective from the Henrico Police Division may respond, regardless of day or time. However, this may not be the same detective who will ultimately be assigned to investigate the case. The responding detective may conduct initial interviews for minimal facts and information at this time.

Step Two: Detective Assigned 
A detective from the Division’s Special Victims Unit will be assigned to the investigation. He or she will contact you soon after the initial report is taken, typically during daytime hours, either by phone or in person.

An in-depth interview is typically scheduled at least 48 hours from the time the incident was reported. The detective assigned to the investigation may, or may not, be the same detective with whom you initially met.

Step Three: Physical Examination
Depending on the circumstances, you may be examined by specially-trained nurses at either St. Mary’s Hospital (5801 Bremo Road), or MCV-VCU Hospital (1213 E. Clay Street). The purpose of the examination is to recover and document any potential evidence.

Step Four: Witness Interviews
In the initial stages of the investigation, the primary focus will be on your well-being and the collection of evidence, statements, etc. While this may appear police are not investigating all possible leads, rest assured, any and all potential witnesses pertinent to the investigation will be contacted during the course of the investigation.

Step Five: Findings Presented
Once the investigation is complete, the findings are presented by your detective to the Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office. Upon review, the Commonwealth’s Attorney will make a determination to either continue the investigation, place criminal charges, or decline prosecution.

Additional Help & Resources

Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance
Helpline: 1-800-838-8238 
LGBTQ Helpline: 1-866-356-6998
Text Helpline: 804-793-9999
Online Chat: vadata.org

Virginia Department of Criminal Justice

Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN)
Call or Chat 1-800-656-HOPE

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Contact Us


7721 E. Parham Rd.
Henrico, VA 23294

Police Non-Emergency
(804) 501-5000
General Information
(804) 501-4800

[email protected]

Mailing Address
P. O. Box 90775
Henrico, VA 23273-0775

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