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

Date: January 20, 2005

Sixteenth Annual Report on Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse Released

(Boise) - Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Governor Dirk Kempthorne today delivered to the Idaho Legislature the 16th annual report on the prosecution of child sexual abuse.

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.

The report covers cases of child sexual abuse in which criminal charges were filed in Idaho courts. The report for Fiscal Year 2004 covers cases filed between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2004. 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.

"This report again underscores a point for parents to consider and a point that has been consistent in all of the previous reports," Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. "In the majority of cases, it appears that the abuser is not a stranger lurking in the shadows, but a person known and trusted by the victim and the victim's family. In fact, in those cases in which the researchers could determine the relationship of the victim to the adult abuser, less than 6% of those prosecuted were strangers to the victim."

"We must never forget that our ultimate goal is to eradicate the causes and vestiges of child sex abuse," Kempthorne said. "While these latest numbers offer some encouragement, we must be ever vigilant in assessing our tools to prosecute and punish those responsible while at the same time identifying and preventing these tragedies from occurring."

Here are some of the key findings of the report:

  • 255 cases were filed against adult defendants, a decline of 37 cases from the previous year.
  • 116 cases were filed against juvenile defendants, a decline of 51 cases from the previous year.
  • 47% of the victims of adult defendants were between 12 and 15 years old, 27% were 11 years old or younger.
  • 72% of the victims of juvenile defendants were 11 years old or younger.
  • 51% of the adult defendants were acquaintances of their victims, 7% were natural parents, 5% were stepparents, and 4% were other relatives.
  • Less than 6% of the adult defendants were strangers to their victims.

Click here to read the entire report. 

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