U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Child Sex Rings: A Behavioral Analysis for Criminal Justice Professionals Handling Cases of Child Sexual Exploitation

NCJ Number
K V Lanning
Date Published
76 pages
Intended for use by police investigators as well as other criminal justice personnel, mental health and social service professionals, and researchers, this manual presents a behavioral analysis of child sexual abuse involving multiple victims, together with guidelines for investigating these cases.
The term sex rings is used to avoid the suggestion that the concept of satanic abuse reflects reality. Two patterns of cases are described: historical child sex rings and multidimensional child sex rings. Historical child sex rings usually involve male offenders who are true pedophiles, male victims, a sexual motivation for the offenses, child pornography, and control of the victim through the seduction process. In contrast, multidimensional child sex rings involve multiple young victims, who were first abused between birth and age 6; multiple offenders; fear as the controlling tactic; and bizarre or ritualistic activity. In multidimensional sex rings, as many as 40-50 percent of the offenders are women, offenders are rarely pedophiles, victims are both male and female, motivation is multidimensional, and control occurs through fear. Appended investigative guidelines, forms, reading list, and 21 references