Drug/Alcohol-Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSB) Webinar

This webinar, “Drug and Alcohol-Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSB)”, will address the complexities of sexual assault cases facilitated by drugs and/or alcohol. Alcohol and/or drugs are a frequent component of sexual assault cases because of how they can be used by the perpetrator to increase victim’s the vulnerability, accessibility, and perceived lack of credibility. A traumatic experience like sexual assault affects how memories are encoded and stored. Adding incapacitating substances like alcohol and drugs on top of this can further impact a victim’s memory. Therefore, it is important for law enforcement and others in the criminal justice system to understand the impacts of alcohol and drugs on victims as well as the tactics perpetrators use to commit sexual assault; combined with trauma-informed and perpetrator-focused investigative strategies in these cases, investigators can thoroughly examine the context and present an accurate case. This webinar will provide investigative strategies that better support victims as they recall details of the assault and that obtain more evidence to better hold perpetrators accountable. 

Target Audience: Law Enforcement 

Objectives: • Describe how perpetrators use alcohol and drugs as a weapon to facilitate committing sexual assaults by increasing victim vulnerability and decreasing credibility • Explain common perpetrator defense strategies • Identify strategies for trauma-informed investigation of alcohol and drug-facilitated sexual assault cases 

Project Funding Provided By: Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women 

This project was supported by Grant No. 2017-TA-AX-K053 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. 

Includes: • The components of perpetrators' modus operandi • How perpetrators use drugs and/or alcohol to facilitate committing sexual assaults • The impact of alcohol on memory • The implications for interviewing the victim • The common perpetrator defense strategies • Offender-focused investigation strategies to bolster the evidence of assault

Rob Fanelli


Gainesville, Florida, Police Department

Captain Rob Fanelli is currently an operations commander at the Gainesville Police Department. Prior to his promotion to captain he was the Criminal Investigations Division Commander. He has 18 years of law enforcement experience with a diverse career. He has experience in policy writing and compliance, investigations, street crime units, and administration. His goal is to improve the profession of Law Enforcement by challenging thoughts and misconceptions, sharing ideas, encouraging communication across agencies and disciplines, and passing knowledge on to a new generation of law enforcement officers.     

Captain Fanelli has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida in Criminology. He went on to receive a Master’s in Business Administration from Saint Leo University and completed his dissertation on Effective Police Organizational Structure: Managerial Economics of a Police Department. As a result of his participation in several IACP projects on enhancing response to gender-based violence he now provides technical assistance and is a consultant for the IACP. He is currently enrolled as a fellow in the Bloomberg School of Public at Johns Hopkins pursuing a Master’s In Public Health with a focus on violence in communities.       


Drug/Alcohol-Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSB) Webinar
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IACP Credit Hours and Certificate of Attendance
1.50 IACP Credit Hours credits  |  Certificate available
1.50 IACP Credit Hours credits  |  Certificate available