Sentencing in child sexual assault cases: factors influencing judicial decision-making

Lewis, Tiffany, Klettke, Bianca, and Day, Andrew (2014) Sentencing in child sexual assault cases: factors influencing judicial decision-making. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 20 (3). pp. 281-295.

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To date, there has been limited examination of variables that influence sentencing in child sexual abuse cases. This study examines the extent to which offence characteristics (such as the number of offences, number and age of victims), the behaviour and perceived credibility of the victim impact upon both sentence length and the setting of earliest parole dates. Analyses conducted using data from 66 adjudicated cases of child sexual assault from the County Court of Victoria, Australia revealed that longer sentences were handed down to offenders who had perpetrated multiple offences, or who had committed offences against younger children. Lower levels of victim credibility were associated with shorter sentences and earlier parole dates for offenders, which were also associated with the presence of more harmful behavioural indicators of abuse. The findings are discussed regarding the importance of presenting evidence about the behaviour of victims following sexual abuse in criminal trials.

Item ID: 47190
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1742-6545
Keywords: child sexual abuse, credibility, behaviour, sentencing
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2017 07:50
FoR Codes: 18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1801 Law > 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940406 Legal Processes @ 100%
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