Internet-Related Child Pornography and Sexual Exploitation Crimes: Characteristics of Offenders

Kimberly J. Mitchell, University of New Hampshire
Janis Wolak, University of New Hampshire

The emergence of Internet-related crimes against minors involving child pornography and child sexual exploitation has raised questions regarding the characteristics of perpetrators of these cases. While some perpetrators interact with and offend against specific identified juvenile victims, others are discovered as a result of online undercover operations or commit offenses involving the possession of contrabad (child pornograph). This paper will describe the characteristics of these three groups of offenders, including prior arrests and other evidence of prior sex crimes, sexual deviance, history of violence, drug or alcohol abuse and mental illness, marital and family history and other demographic information. The data come from the Juvenile Online Victimization Incidence Study, which used a national sample of over 2500 law enforcement agencies to gather data about Internet-related child pornography and sexual ezpolitation crimes. This study is funded by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the U.S. Department of Justice, OJJDP.

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Updated 05/20/2006