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

Date: January 23, 2008

Nineteenth Report on Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse Released

(Boise) – Researchers for Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter today reviewed the 19th 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 by Research Training Evaluation Associates under the direction of Robert Marsh, Ph.D. 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, 2006, and June 30, 2007. 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. Indeed, there was only one case reported in which the adult defendant was a stranger to the victim and there were only two cases in which the juvenile defendant was a stranger to the victim. In the vast majority of cases, the adult defendant was an acquaintance of the victim. For juvenile defendants, the most common relationship was also acquaintance. However, more than one-third of the victims of juvenile offenders were relatives of the offender. These statistics reinforce that it is essential that parents know the people with whom their children spend time and remain vigilant that those in relationships of trust with their children do not seek to exploit that trust.”

“It is among government’s highest priorities to protect our children,” Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said. “Doing that effectively begins with gaining knowledge about the threat, and finding better ways of fighting it and stopping the cycle of abuse from continuing to another generation. That is the purpose of this report, and of the research behind it.”

Here are some of the key findings of the report:

  • 298 cases were filed against adult defendants, a decrease of 26 cases from the previous year.
  • 132 cases were filed against juvenile defendants, a decline of 13 cases from the previous year.
  • 44% of the victims of adult defendants were between 12 and 15 years old and 29% were 11 years old or younger.
  • 64% of the victims of juvenile defendants were 11 years old or younger.
  • 72% of the adult defendants were acquaintances of their victims, 8% were natural parents, 6% were stepparents and 9% were other relatives.
  • There was only one case in which the adult defendant was a stranger to the victim. There were only two cases in which the juvenile defendant was a stranger to the victim.

The full report is available on Attorney General Wasden’s website. Previous reports are also on the Attorney General’s website.

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