Surprising Facts About Sex Offenders and Sex Offenses
The Gist of this Article: Many of the commonly understood stereotypes about sex offenders are false, as the following article explains. This information can be helpful toward understanding how a common sex offense case is resolved in court.
The number one myth that permeates resolving sex offenses is a strong belief that every sex offender will eventually re-offend; it is only a question of when. This is untrue, as extensive studies have documented that the normal rate of recidivism is 12% over five years to a maximum of 20% in twenty years, with re-offending defined as committing another sex offense other than failing to register. It is true, however, that such folks may be prosecuted again for DUI or substance abuse or any other crime.
Pedophilia should be understood to be a chronic, life-long mental disorder similar to sexual orientation. The deviant interest in pre-pubescent children must be present, psychologists say, for more than six months to be a condition rather than an isolated episode. The interest may not be exclusive to children, as a pedophile can also be sexually attracted to adolescents (not pedophilia) and adults.
A third common myth is that possessors of child pornography inevitably “warm up” (a phrase used by Dr. Malinkeh) to a real, live victim. The statistics on this refute this. Studies have shown, mostly by Michael Seto, that less than three percent move on to commit a lewd act with a child or worse. Interestingly, the same studies found that recidivism among “kiddie porn” collectors is less than ten percent and less than four to six percent over five years.
Lastly, it is wise to appreciate that the Static 99 is just a starting point. The individual must be evaluated by a qualified, educated expert in sexual offenses to really understand the potential for a defendant to reoffend. The Static 99 (based on a study of 1,000 sex offenders only in Europe) one should note, was revised in 2009 (based on a study of 8,000 individuals, including Americans) and it is called the Static 99R. Karl Hanson, the founder of the Static 99 and Static 99R, states that the test results are limited in predictive value. In two-thirds of those with a higher score (5 or higher), that person has a higher risk of recidivism than one with a lower score (under 5). It is an actuarial score, based on the individual’s history, but does not take into account the person’s current health, meaning a sex offender who is bed-ridden due to an illness may have the same score as a younger offender who is able-bodied.
We present this article to our readers in hopes they recognize sex offenses defy many stereotypes and myths. An experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with these types of cases is extremely valuable in reaching a case resolution that fits the crime and the individual.
For more information about sex offenses, please click on the following articles: