Statutory Rape: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics

Karyl Troup-Leasure, National Center for Juvenile Justice

ABSTRACT
: A commonly held image of offenders and victims of statutory rape is that adult males prey upon adolescent females. This study broadens the perspective by identifying additional offender and victim factors along with incident characteristics of this crime. The 1997 through 1999 National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data are the bases for this research. The analysis includes detailed information on 4,786 victims, their offenders, and related incident characteristics. Key elements examined include: victim age profiles relative to crime prevalence, relationships to offender, and incident hour; similarities and differences between juvenile and adult offenders; and offense circumstances such as location and weapon use. Preliminary analyses indicate that over one half of the victims were between twelve and fourteen years old and about one-third of victims were in the fifteen to seventeen age-range. The younger category is the largest proportion of victims for all offender groups--juveniles, adults, and juveniles and adults acting together, however, older teens are more likely the victims of adult offenders. Acquaintances were the largest proportion of victims for all offender groups, though siblings are largely the victims of juvenile offenders.

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Updated 05/20/2006