Characteristics of Older Adult First-Time Sex Offenders: Insights From the Missouri Registry

Year: 2020
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Authors

Khoury, R., Ghossoub, E.

Abstract

Objective
To explore the characteristics of older adult first-time sex offenders (who offended for the first time at the age of 65 years or above).

Design
The authors retrieved and analyzed data from the publicly available Missouri sex offender registry database up to December 2018 and the Missouri public case management system website.

Participants
Registered older (≥65 years) sex offenders in the state of Missouri, United States.

Measurements
Sociodemographic characteristics of the offender, offense type(s), offense, and conviction dates; age and sex of the victim(s); and case disposition information (whether the trial was waived or not and what were the sentences imposed).

Results
One hundred and ninety-four older adult sex offenders all males were identified, of which 172 were first-time offenders. The majority were white; the median age of offense was 68.6 years old. One hundred and thirty-nine (80.8%) first-time offenders were convicted strictly of non-pornography offenses, with prepubescent girls the predominant victim pool. The most prevalent charge in this subgroup was Child Molestation, First Degree (36.5%). Twenty-eight (16.3%) offenders were convicted strictly of pornography offenses, the most prevalent one being Possession of Child Pornography (96.6%). The recidivism rate among first-time offenders was close to 1%.

Conclusion
A substantial proportion of older registered sex offenders are first-time sex offenders and most of them have underage victims. Although the offense and recidivism rates seem to be low, future longitudinal studies should focus on the predictors of sexual offending in the older population, in order to design targeted preventive measures, risk assessment, and treatment options.

Topic

Geriatric,Other

Keywords

Sex offence, aged, crime victim, sexual recidivism
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