Sexual Assault Case Processing: A Descriptive Model of Attrition and Decision Making
Group: University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center
The outcomes of sexual assaults involving one suspect and one victim reported to the Anchorage Police Department (APD) in 2000 to 2003 were examined. Overall, 1,235 sexual assaults were reported to APD during this period, of which 1,074 involved one suspect and one victim. Data were collected on 1,052 of these cases to learn how the Alaska Department of Law disposed of these cases. Of the 1,052 cases examined, 188 (17.9%) were referred to the Department of Law, 127 were accepted for prosecution, and 111 resulted in a conviction. Clearly, the point of greatest attrition is from report to referral, with 85.2 percent of reported sexual assaults not being referred for prosecution. However, most offenders whose cases reach prosecutors are held accountable in some degree through the imposition of criminal sanctions.
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