Characteristics of Federal Offenders Sentenced for Child Molestation and Sentencing Outcomes

George Tsagaris, PhD, LISW-S, M.S. & Jesse Bach, PhD | September 21 | 11:30 AM-12:30 PM | Room 3010A

Topic: Research, Law Enforcement | Knowledge Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Much of anti-trafficking efforts and literature addresses ways to identify victims of sex trafficking and sexual abuse. While this is important, this strategy may minimize the need for identifying the driving force behind sex trafficking and sexual offenses—the perpetrators. Perpetrators establish the demand for victims and are the driving force behind certain facets of sex trafficking and sexual abuse. By recognizing and understanding offender characteristics, demographics, and methods of access, service providers will gain a first-hand understanding regarding the methods behind sex-based offenses. The presenters conducted an in-depth examination of transcripts applicable to 74 federal court cases pertaining to sex trafficking and illicit sexual conduct. The first study reviewed federal court transcripts of 24 offenders sentenced for violating Title 18, United States Code (USC) § 2251 and Title 18 USC § 2252, which included multiple sex trafficking offense charges. Similar to existing research, the findings suggest that offender race and gender were largely white males, but diverse in age groups, and were involved with some aspect of digital recording and storage within the various facets of abuse. The second study focuses on sample of 82 sex offenders and examines original charges and final sentencing outcomes with the nature of offense, characteristics of offenders and victims. The focus is on whether there is disparate treatment based on offender characteristics, victim demographics and nature of the offense.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Identify characteristics of sentenced sex offenders for child molestation in a Midwestern Federal jurisdiction.

·  Describe the characteristics of victims of child molestation.

·  Explore sentencing outcomes and disparities in those outcomes.

·  Discuss methods used by perpetrators to gain access to take advantage of victims.

About the Presenters