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Understanding Sexually Abusive Clergy as a Unique Offender Subgroup: Risk-based Comparisons Across the Course of Offending

NCJ Number
Anthony D. Perillo; Anniken L.W. Laake; Cynthia Calkins
Date Published
11 pages
This study compared offending trends of sexually abusive clergy (n = 1,428) to that of general sex offenders (n = 2,842) on risk measure items coded across the course of offending.
Findings show significant differences between these groups of sex offenders on most risk-relevant variables. Clergy were particularly more likely to have male victims, V = .62, 95 percent CI [.58, .65], and less likely to be married, V = .59, 95 percent CI [.56, .63], or use force, V = .76, 95 percent CI [.73, .79]. The magnitude of differences remained when matched on offense factors (e.g., male child acquaintance victims). Findings suggest sexually abusive clergy are a unique subgroup that differs from general sex offenders on factors associated with recidivism. (Publisher abstract modified)