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Analysis of Females Convicted of Sex Crimes in the State of Florida

NCJ Number
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse Volume: 14 Issue: 1 Dated: 2005 Pages: 75-89
Christopher J. Ferguson; D. Cricket Meehan
Date Published
15 pages
This study examined the characteristics of 279 female sexual offenders in Florida who had been convicted of 940 separate criminal offenses.
Data on these women were obtained from the Florida Department of Corrections. Women convicted of sex crimes against both children and adults were considered. Although psychological testing had not been conducted on the women, extensive behavioral and legal data were available. The female sex offenders included in the study were either incarcerated or on parole, probation, or community supervision for sex-related offenses (excluding nonvictim crimes such as prostitution) during July 2000. Of the sex offenses committed by these women, 86.1 percent involved some degree of physical force. In 64 percent of the cases, the maximum level of force used constituted a simple assault; 4.4 percent resulted in an aggravated assault; 17.3 percent used enough force to cause genital mutilation or permanent disfigurement; and 0.7 percent killed a victim in the context of a sexual crime. The women were the primary perpetrators in 97.3 percent of the cases. Most of the victims (67.7 percent) were between the ages of 12 and 16; 15.3 percent were under 12; 7.1 percent were adults; and victim information was not available for the remaining cases. The women were separated into three groups. One group (n=71) was slightly younger at the time of arrest, more likely to choose victims under 12 years old, and more likely to use verbal coercion rather than direct force. The second group (n=100) consisted of older offenders (mean age 30) with more previous criminal convictions who used the highest level of physical force (aggravated assault) in committing their crimes. The third group (n=108) was composed of offenders most likely to choose older victims (adolescents between the ages of 12 and 16) and who used a medium amount of force. 4 tables and 25 references