Sunday, March 6, 2016

Case Report: GHB in a Sexual Assault

Newly published is a case report in Forensic Science International describing a truly horrible and deplorable situation in which a six year old female child was brutally sexually assaulted over the course of approximately nine months by her uncle. The child died.

It is an important case report. But, it is very difficult to read.

The paper is available behind a paywall via Science Direct here.

The uncle obtained GHB liquid over the Internet and was able to synthesize GHB salt from GBL with instructions acquired over the Internet. About nine months into the assaults, the uncle mixed GHB into some spaghetti with Bolognese sauce and later some apple juice. The child became sedated and unconscious. After about four hours and several heinous sexual assaults, the child stopped breathing. The uncle tried to resuscitate her, but was unsuccessful.

Toxicological analysis of the postmortem cardiac blood (1.5 mcg/mL), bile (2.92 mcg/mL), vitreous humor (5.8 mcg/mL), liver (100 mg/kg), kidney (125 mg/kg), and brain (110 mg/kg). Cause of death was ruled as GHB intoxication.

While we think that GHB is rarely used in drug facilitated sexual assaults (DFSA) in present day, this case is an important reminder that GHB is still utilized and should always be considered in DFSA casework and included in the scope of analysis in any toxicology analyses.


L.M. Mehling, S.S. Johansen, X. Wang, E. Doberentz, B. Madea, and C. Hess (2016) Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault with Lethal Outcome: GHB Intoxication in a Six-Year-Old Girl. Forensic Science International, Volume 259, e25-e31.

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