Serial Sexual Assaults: A Longitudinal Examination of Offending Patterns Using DNA Evidence, Detroit, Michigan, 2009 (ICPSR 37134)

Version Date: Feb 28, 2019 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Rebecca Campbell, Michigan State University. College of Social Science

https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37134.v1

Version V1

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

Serial sexual assault is a pervasive problem: court record recidivism rates show that 10-15% of convicted sex offenders re-assault within five years and self-report studies suggest that 63-78% of males who have committed sexual assaults have raped more than one individual. The current study documents the scope of repeat sexual offending through a previously-unexplored method of documenting serial perpetration: DNA evidence in sexual assault kits (SAKs). Ultimately, the testing of N = 7,287 previously untested SAKs revealed n = 1,270 unique and identifiable perpetrators. When combined with information from lifetime criminal history records, 39.7% (n = 504) of this subsample of unique and identifiable perpetrators were found to be serial sexual offenders who committed, on average, 3.27 sexual assaults.

This collection contains 10 SPSS files:

  • ESCALATIONdata_2018-05-15.sav (1142 cases, 6 variables)
  • Forensic_Outcomes_2018-04-03.sav (7287 cases, 7 variables)
  • PERPdata_2018-04-03.sav (1424 cases, 12 variables)
  • SAKdata_2018-04-03.sav (1675 cases, 6 variables)
  • SAK_PERP_2018-04-03.sav (1691 cases, 12 variables)
  • SSA_ARR_Arrests_Imputed_2018-09-03.sav (9826 cases, 24 variables)
  • SSA_CHG_PA_Charges_Imputed_2018-09-03.sav (6052 cases, 24 variables)
  • SSA_IDN_Offenders_2018-09-03.sav (1142 cases, 17 variables)
  • SSA_INC_Incidents_Imputed_2018-09-03.sav (9550 cases, 16 variables)
  • SSA_JUD_Judicial_Charges_Imputed_2018-09-03.sav (12522 cases, 30 variables)

This collection includes demographic variables on offenders, including sex, race, age, and arrest region.

Campbell, Rebecca. Serial Sexual Assaults: A Longitudinal Examination of Offending Patterns Using DNA Evidence, Detroit, Michigan, 2009. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2019-02-28. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37134.v1

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2014-NE-BX-0006)

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Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reason for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2009
2009

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

The purpose of this study was to use DNA evidence as a data source for studying serial sexual assault perpetration. Analysis of the evidence in the standardized sexual assault kits (SAKs) could yield a DNA profile of the suspect, and that profile could be uploaded to the federal criminal DNA database CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) and searched against other DNA profiles to identify offenders. Matching DNA profiles across cases can link multiple crimes to the same perpetrator. As such, examining DNA linkages through SAK evidence offers another approach for studying repeat perpetration.

In this project, the starting query was a sample of approximately 7,000 previously-untested sexual assault kits (SAKs) from Detroit, Michigan. First, the researchers examined how many offenders may have committed more than one sexual assault, based on DNA matches in CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) and other sexual assaults identified through a criminal history records check. Second, for those offenders who were suspected of committing multiple sexual assaults (based on CODIS and criminal history record data), the researchers used growth mixture models to explore their patterns of serial sexual offending over time.

The sample for this study was drawn from the population of 11,219 sexual assault kits (SAKs) that were discovered in August, 2009 in a police property storage facility in Detroit, Michigan. Some kits had been previously submitted to the police crime lab and were tested for DNA (n = 1,932), and some were tested later in grant projects (n = 400 by the Office of Violence Against Women, n = 1,600 by the National Institute of Justice). The goal in this project was to examine the forensic testing outcomes of the remaining SAKs in that original inventory, n = 7,287 SAKs.

Cross-sectional

Sexual assault kits (SAKs) from Detroit, Michigan and the offender matched to the kit.

Perpetrator, Sexual Assault Kit (SAK)
administrative records data

This collection contains 10 SPSS files:

  • ESCALATIONdata_2018-05-15.sav (1142 cases, 6 variables)
  • Forensic_Outcomes_2018-04-03.sav (7287 cases, 7 variables)
  • PERPdata_2018-04-03.sav (1424 cases, 12 variables)
  • SAKdata_2018-04-03.sav (1675 cases, 6 variables)
  • SAK_PERP_2018-04-03.sav (1691 cases, 12 variables)
  • SSA_ARR_Arrests_Imputed_2018-09-03.sav (9826 cases, 24 variables)
  • SSA_CHG_PA_Charges_Imputed_2018-09-03.sav (6052 cases, 24 variables)
  • SSA_IDN_Offenders_2018-09-03.sav (1142 cases, 17 variables)
  • SSA_INC_Incidents_Imputed_2018-09-03.sav (9550 cases, 16 variables)
  • SSA_JUD_Judicial_Charges_Imputed_2018-09-03.sav (12522 cases, 30 variables)

This study contains criminal history variables, including number of sexual assaults, types of arrest, and arrest region, and demographic variables on offenders, including sex, race, and age.

Not applicable

None

2019-02-28

Notes

  • These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.