Journey "During" Crime: Predicting Criminal Mobility Patterns in Sexual Assaults.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to test whether there is a relationship between situational and modus operandi characteristics and criminal mobility during the sexual assault event. Data collected from both police files and semistructured interviews with 72 serial sex offenders who have committed 361 sexual assaults have been used. Negative binomial regression was used to identify the relationships between the situational and modus operandi characteristics and the criminal mobility exhibited during the sexual assault. Events that involved child or adolescent victims, those where the offender did not use pornography prior to crime, and those where victim resistance was observed exhibited more criminal mobility. Moreover, crimes in which the victim was selected, the victim was alone when approached by the offender, and the assault was characterized by sexual penetration and a lack of premeditation exhibited more criminal mobility. Results seem to suggest that criminal mobility is a goal-oriented action taken by serial sex offenders to successfully complete their crime and to avoid detection and apprehension.
SourceAvailable from: Benoit Leclerc[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Although the study of both offense processes and implicit theories provides in-depth knowledge about the decision-making of sex offenders, these studies focus solely on the internal psychological processes of the offender leading to the commission of a sexual assault. These studies neglect to look specifically at the offender's decision-making during the offense in interaction with the immediate situations encountered at the offense scene, such as the choices of behavior while interacting with the victim in a specific context. Based on a rational choice approach, this study investigates the decision-making involved in the offending process of 69 serial sexual offenders who have committed their crimes against stranger victims. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with offenders in order to identify the rationale behind their actions during the pre-crime phase (premeditation of the crime, estimation of risk of apprehension by the offender, and forensic awareness of the offender), crime phase (use of a weapon, use of restraints, use of a vehicle, and level of force used), and the post-crime phase (event leading to the end of crime and victim release site location choice). Results show that sex offenders, even if traditionally described as "irrational" and impulsive individuals, are capable, up to a certain point, of an analysis of the costs/benefits related to their actions. Moreover, results emphasize the important role of situational factors, such as victim resistance, on the decision-making process of sex offenders. Implications of the results are briefly discussed in regard of clinical practice and crime prevention.Sexual Abuse A Journal of Research and Treatment 07/2007; 19(2):115-33. DOI:10.1007/s11194-007-9043-6 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Purpose Although rational choice researchers has investigated how offenders successfully commit certain crimes, there is a lack of research looking at the factors explaining the use - or not - of certain detection avoidance strategies. This study introduces the concept of "forensic awareness" as a detection avoidance strategy, and proposes to examine the effect of disinhibitors, target selection behaviors, and acts that may potentially leave evidence at the crime scene on its use.Methods Factors influencing forensic awareness are tested using logistic regression models on a sample of 222 rape events collected from offenders incarcerated in Canada.Results Offenders exhibit less forensic awareness when under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. However, offenders who show some form of target selection are more likely to take forensic precautions. Finally, offenders who break and enter in the victim's residence, and undertake specific sexual acts during the crime are also more likely to exhibit forensic awareness.Conclusion Despite the increasing use and knowledge of forensic evidence by law enforcement, offenders are inconsistent in their forensic awareness and they direct most of their efforts toward protecting their identity, neglecting to either destroy or clean up DNA that could be recovered at the crime scene.Journal of Criminal Justice 11/2010; 38(6):1160-1166. DOI:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2010.09.004 · 1.24 Impact Factor
Article: Target Selection Patterns in Rape[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Both theoretical and empirical studies of decision making in target selection have shown that this process is highly dependent on the physical environment. However, research specifi cally investigating decision making in sex offenders’ target selection is scarce. The aims of the current study were to (1) identify target selection patterns in a mixed sample of 78 Canadian and Portuguese adult rapists, (2) investigate how geographical decision making infl uences target selection patterns, and (3) test the infl uence of the type of environment on target selection patterns. The results indicate that Canadian and Portuguese rapists exhibit different target selection patterns but that their geographical decision making is congruent and consistent with the environment within which they operate.Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling 01/2010; 7(2):137-152. DOI:10.1002/jip.117 · 0.53 Impact Factor