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Federal Prosecution of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Cases, 2004-2013

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2017
11 pages
William Adams; Abigail Flynn
Publication Series
Publication Type
Statistics, Report (Study/Research), Report (Grant Sponsored), Report (Annual/Periodic)
Grant Number(s)
A summary and full report are provided on the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS') statistics for 2004 and 2013 on federal cases that involved the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).
CSEC offenses include child sex trafficking and the production, trafficking, distribution, and possession of child pornography. Child sex abuse offenses that do not involve a commercial aspect are not included in this report. In addition to the prevalence data on CSEC, data are provided on the characteristics of CSEC suspects, the outcomes of CSEC charges, and the convictions of CSEC defendants. Regarding CSEC prevalence, the annual number of defendants prosecuted for CSEC charges nearly doubled between 2004 and 2013, from 2,972 suspects to 4,579. Suspects referred for possession of child pornography (72 percent) composed the majority of all CSEC suspects, followed by child sex trafficking (18 percent) and child pornography production (10 percent) suspects. From 2004 to 2013, 19,801 adjudications in federal cases involved a CSEC charge, and 95 percent of those adjudications resulted in a conviction. Of defendants convicted in U.S. district court, 98 percent received prison time. This was higher than the percentage of persons sentenced to prison in all other major offense categories. Most CSEC convicted defendants (97 percent) received prison-only sentences. Prison sentences for defendants convicted of CSEC offenses were among the longest in the federal justice system. Between 2004 and 2013, the mean prison sentence for convicted CSEC defendants increased 99 percent, from 70 to 139 months. The methodology of this study is described. 10 tables and 4 figures
Date Created: October 12, 2017