Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sexual Violence in Virginia 2012: 15.15% of Sex Victims Were Male, 5.6% of Sex Offenders Were Female and Less Than 1.5% of All Crimes Commited Were Sexual

I’m always looking for data on this platform and I finally took the time to breakdown the numbers from the 2012 Crime Report for Virginia. 

2012 Crime in Virginia: Virginia State Police    http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Crime_in_Virginia.shtm 

There were 5,093 victims of the 4,771 forcible sex offenses reported by the contributing agencies; 84.6% of the victims were female.  

The following 2012 crime trends within Virginia are presented in the report: 

·        Virginia experienced a decline in violent crime (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) of 3.0 percent compared to 2011; the FBI figures for the same period of time are not yet available.
·        Property crime such as burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft decreased 3.3 percent; the FBI figures for the same period of time are not yet available.
·        The homicide rate increased slightly for 2012 (3.86) compared to 2011 (3.77) per 100,000 population. Based on the ages reported, victims tended to be older than offenders; 23 percent of homicide victims were 50 years of age or older, while only 6 percent of offenders were in the same age group.
·        Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts decreased 8.0 percent.  Of the 8,988 motor vehicles stolen, 4,729 or slightly over one-half were recovered (52.6%). Automobiles and trucks stolen had the highest percent recovered (62.4 percent, 62.9 percent), while recreational and “other” motor vehicles (motorcycles, mopeds, snowmobiles, etc.) had the lowest percent recovered (35.6 percent, 32.5 percent). Four out-of-ten (40.3 percent) of all motor vehicle offenses were reported stolen from the location of residence or home. The value of all motor vehicles stolen was $59,806,194, while the value recovered was $33,021,149 (52.2 percent).
·        Drug and narcotic offenses showed slight decreases in 2009 (-2.5%) and 2008 (-3.5%). For the past three years drug offenses have increased compared to the previous year (5.3 percent in 2010, 7.1 percent in 2011 and 9.4 percent for 2012).
·        Fraud offenses increased by 7.5 percent when compared to 2011.
·        Robbery decreased 13.2 percent. Of the 4,729 robberies and attempted robberies, 37 percent took place between 8 pm. and midnight. The days of the week showed little variability with the most robberies occurring on Saturdays (16 percent) and the fewest on Thursdays (13 percent).
·        Of the weapons reported, firearms were the most frequently used in homicides (71 percent) and robberies (57 percent). 
·        There were 143 hate crimes reported in 2012. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward sexual orientation was next highest (19 percent) while bias toward religion comprised 16 percent. The remaining 2 percent reported was attributed to a bias against a victim’s physical or mental disability. The offense of destruction/damage/vandalism of property was associated in just over half of all reported bias motivated crimes (51 percent). 

On page 4 you’ll notice that Forcible Sex Offenses AND Non-Forcible Sex Offenses have both decreased in 2012 from 2011. 

Whereas Pornography arrests have continued to increase each year including 2012. That would be because of Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces (ICAC) in large counties/cities within the  Commonwealth that have been formed and expanded over the last few years. ICAC's receive not only State funding, but Federal funding, grants and the support of organizations like PROTECT to work full-time on entrapping folks.

·         Southern Virginia ICAC
·         Northern Virginia ICAC 

The breakdown of Group A Offenses totals 472,836 crimes for 2012 

·         Forcible Sex Offenses were 1.07% of offenses
·         Non-Forcible Sex Offenses were 0.004% of offenses
·         Pornography* was 0.015% of offenses
·         Prostitution was 0.02% of offenses 

*  - I could not determine if the Pornography category includes all or some of the variety of charges including Production, Distribution, Sale and Possession. I’m guessing all of the above but in reality Possession should be separate as no physical contact ever occurred with the possessor and the victim in the image. I also wonder what category a charge of on-line communication with a minor (usually a cop) and/or solicitation of a minor gets put into. 

On page 14 the breakdown the relationship of the offender to the victim in Forcible Sex Offenses.  

I’m very surprised to see out of the long list of categories that the State does not track Teachers, Coaches, Day Care Workers, Pastors/Priests and Physicians listed knowing how the media and many lawmakers pounce on these types of cases.  

I’d like to see those 5 added to the list plus Law Enforcement and Prison/Mental Facility Officers or Employees.  

On page 15 in 2012 from the Victim by Age and Sex and the Offender by Age and Sex we can figure 

  • Male victims of Forcible Sex Offenses were 15.15% of offenses
  • Female offenders were 5.6% of offenses
For 4 years I’ve been trying to get an accurate female offender count from the Virginia State Police to no avail.

Without an accurate number I was forced to presume a percentage I selected 3% of the entire RSO population as female, it turn out I was too low. With this 2012 data I can now confidently increase that number to 5% when working on future ratios.

On page 46 there is a breakdown of violent crime by location.  

Since much ta-do has been made over the years (with no evidence) including proposed legislation that Sex Offenders should be banned from bus stops, libraries, parks, pools, recreation centers, retirement facilities, daycare facilities and museums I’m really surprised to see the state isn’t tracking those locations. I think they should be added to the list. 

On page 67 the breakdown of Juvenile Arrests by Age and Crime totals 10,257 crimes 

Of that total 195 of them were sexual, that works out to be 1.90% of Juvenile Arrests in 2012 were sexual. 

On pages 72, 73 and 74 Group A Offense Arrests are broken down by Gender, Race and Totals. These lists include the crimes of Incest and Statutory Rape (which is not an actual statute in Virginia). 
  • Forcible Rape- 0.22% of arrests
312  - by a Male
4      - by a Female 

  • Forcible Sodomy- 0.12% of arrests
171  - by a Male
5      - by a Female 

  • Sexual Assault w/ an Object- 0.09% of arrests
118  - by a Male
3      - by a Female 

  • Forcible Fondling- 0.47% of arrests
639  - by a Male
25     - by a Female 

  • Incest- 0.00% of arrests
4      - by a Male
1      - by a Female 

  • Statutory Rape- 0.07% of arrests
102  - by a Male
3      - by a Female 

  • Pornography/Obscene Material- 0.14% of arrests
190  - by a Male
13      - by a Female 

In the Group A Offense category Sexual Arrests were 1.11% of total. 

Less than 1.5% of violent crime in Virginia is sexual but yet every year the #1 category for legislative fiscal impact statement requests to the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission from the lawmakers is in fact Sex Offender bills. 

It seems like much of the focus and much of the expense that Virginia directs towards sex crimes would be better directed towards crimes that are at a rate of 5% or more like simple assault, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, fraud, vandalism, narcotics and weapons. Especially since we already know the recidivism rate for these crimes are at a much, much higher rate than sex offenses by sex offenders, even if some lawmakers do everything possible to ignore that fact when proposing and voting on new laws. 

A smarter registry instead of a bigger and more expensive registry is what the citizens of Virginia deserve. 

If you agree that the relentless focus on harsher laws and a lifetime of restrictions that continually cycle through the Virginia Legislature each and every year is a waste of resources based on the exiting criminal data, please email or call your one State Delegate and your one State Senator this week! 

Mary Devoy