Modus Operandi of Sexual Offenders Working or Doing Voluntary Work With Children and Adolescents: A Descriptive Study

Benoit LecLerc, Institut Philippe Pinel de Montreal
Jean Proulx, Universite de Montreal
Andre McKibben, Institut Philippe Pinel de Montreal

The current study provide the first empirical description of the modus operandi of sexual offenders working or doing voluntary work with children and adolescents across all aspects of offender-victim interactions. The modus operandi is studied along the offense continuum that includes strategies used for gaining victim trust, getting victim to participate in sexual activity and keeping victim from telling someone about the sexual contact. Twenty-three offenders (English-speaking and French-speaking) agreed to participate in this study. They were recruited from prisons, probation, parole offices, penitentiaries and treatment programs. Three sources of information were used. The most important one was the administration of the Modus Operandi Questionnaire (MOQ) developed by Kaufman (1991). Data were also obtained from a semi-structured interview conducted with offenders and from official sources of information like arrest reports and victim statements. Our results suggest that the modus operandi of these sexual offenders depends on their position of trust in relation to their victim. In fact, they can use non coercive strategies to achieve victim compliance. Implications for prevention strategies are highlighted.

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Updated 05/20/2006