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, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 281-295, doi: 10.1080/13552600.2013.804603.

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Title Sentencing in child sexual assault cases: factors influencing judicial decision-making
Author(s) Lewis, Tiffany
Klettke, BiancaORCID iD for Klettke, Bianca
Day, Andrew
Journal name Journal of sexual aggression
Volume number 20
Issue number 3
Start page 281
End page 295
Total pages 15
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1355-2600
Keyword(s) behaviour
Child sexual abuse
Social Sciences
Criminology & Penology
Summary 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. © 2013 Copyright National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13552600.2013.804603
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers
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Document type: Journal Article
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School of Psychology
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