For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: January 29, 2007

Eighteenth Report on Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse Released

(Boise) – Researchers for Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter today reviewed the 18th annual report on the prosecution of child sexual abuse with the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee.

The report is prepared and submitted to the legislature each year pursuant to Idaho Code § 67-1405. The report was prepared under the direction of Dr. Robert Marsh of the Department of Criminal Justice Administration at Boise State University. Dr. Marsh briefed the committee on the findings in this year’s report.

The report covers cases of child sexual abuse in which criminal charges were filed in Idaho courts. The report covers cases filed between July 1, 2005, and June 30, 2006. It includes statistical data on victims and offenders, disposition of cases and sentencing practices. The report does not include data or estimates on unreported child sexual abuse or reported cases that do not result in criminal prosecution.

“The report again draws our attention to a disturbing fact that has not changed since the first report,” Attorney General Wasden said. “The abuser is almost always a person known and trusted by the victim and the victim’s family. Less than 6 percent of the defendants were strangers to the victim. This suggests that parents must know the people with whom their children spend time. They must also be vigilant that those in relationships of trust with their children do not seek to exploit that trust.“

“One of my first tasks as your new governor was reviewing this report on the prosecution of child sexual abuse in Idaho over the past year,” Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said. “I found the report deeply disturbing. Last year saw a record number of prosecutions for child sexual abuse, which likely reflects a record number of sex crimes against children. Police, prosecutors and judges have my fullest support in their campaign to stop these crimes, and prevent these personal and societal tragedies. I support strong sanctions aimed at deterring and appropriately treating those who would abuse our children.”

Here are some of the key findings of the report:

  • 324 cases were filed against adult defendants, an increase of 51 cases from the previous year.
  • 145 cases were filed against juvenile defendants, a decline of 18 cases from the previous year.
  • 54% of the victims of adult defendants were between 12 and 15 years old and 22% were 11 years old or younger.
  • 61% of the victims of juvenile defendants were 11 years old or younger.
  • 62% of the adult defendants were acquaintances of their victims, 6% were natural parents, 3% were stepparents and 4% were other relatives.
  • Less than 6% of the adult defendants were strangers to their victims.

Click here to view the full report on the Attorney General Wasden’s website. Previous reports are also on the Attorney General’s website.

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