Topic:
RAPE; STATISTICAL INFORMATION; CRIME; CRIMINALS; FIREARMS; SEX CRIMES; CHILD ABUSE;
Location:
RAPE;

OLR Research Report


December 19, 2006

 

2006-R-0805

SEXUAL ASSAULT DATA

By: Sandra Norman-Eady, Chief Attorney

You asked for recent statistics on the number of (1) sexual assaults, both reported and unreported; (2) sexual assault arrests; and (3) sexual assault prosecutions. You also wanted to know the disposition of the prosecutions.

SUMMARY

It is difficult to determine the number of sexual assaults reported and arrests made because of the way state statistics are maintained. Crime in Connecticut, published annually by the State Police, includes statistics mainly on the seven offenses that serve as an index for gauging fluctuations in the overall volume and rate of crime. These crimes are murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. The publication's source data are based upon local police departments' monthly reports of criminal activity to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program at the Connecticut Department of Public Safety.

The publication provides only arrest information in other areas. Although one of these areas is sex offenses, this category includes crimes generally not associated with such crimes. For example, it includes adultery, public indecency, and other crimes involving moral turpitude.

In 2004, the last year for which statistics are available, there were almost 800 reported rapes or attempted rapes in Connecticut. There are no available reports showing the number of (1) unreported rapes or (2) reports of other types of sexual assault crimes, whether or not reported. There were almost 1,000 arrests for rape and other sexual offenses.

There were over 1,300 sexual offense prosecutions during FY 04-05. Of these, less than 500 resulted in convictions. The number of prosecutions does not represent the number of people prosecuted, but rather the number of cases. One person may have been prosecuted for an offense multiple times. It is important to note that these prosecutions are for crimes included in Connecticut's Penal Code as sexual offenses and do not include some sexual activity reported as sexual offenses in Crime in Connecticut. It is also important to note that prosecution statistics are reported by fiscal year while crime statistics are reported by calendar year.

SEXUAL ASSAULT COMPLAINTS AND ARRESTS

In 2004, there were 702 complaints of rape (and an additional 76 of attempted rape). The police cleared 303 of the complaints primarily by arresting the offenders. Cases were also cleared if police discovered that the offenders were already incarcerated or deceased. In total, there were 306 people were arrested for forcible rape. Of those, 62 (20%) were under age 18.

There are no state statistics on the number of non-rape sexual offenses, reported or unreported. However, State Police statistics show 781 arrests for sexual offenses other than rape. Of those arrested, 196 (25%) were under age 18. It is impossible to determine the number of unreported sexual offenses.

SEXUAL ASSAULT OFFENSES

Connecticut's sexual assault offenses vary based, primarily, on the act committed, whether force was involved, the actor's and victim's ages, and their relationship. Following are descriptions of each crime.

First-Degree Sexual Assault

A person commits this crime when he (1) uses or threatens to use force to engage in sexual intercourse (the threat must reasonably cause the victim to fear physical injury), (2) engages in sexual intercourse with someone under age 13 and who is more than two years younger than he is, (3) commits 2nd degree sexual assault while aided by two or more other people actually present, or (4) engages in sexual intercourse with someone mentally incapable of consenting (CGS 53a-70).

First-Degree Sexual Aggravated Assault

A person commits this crime when he commits 1st degree sexual assault and (1) possesses or represents that he possesses a weapon, (2) intentionally injures the victim, (3) negligently causes the victim serious physical injury, or (4) has help from at least two other people who are present (CGS 53a-70a).

Sexual Assault in a Spousal or Cohabitating Relationship

A person commits this crime when (1) he uses or threatens the use of force to compel his spouse or cohabitor to engage in sexual intercourse and (2) the threat causes the victim to reasonably fear physical injury (CGS 53a-70b).

Second-Degree Sexual Assault

A person commits this crime when he engages in sexual intercourse with (1) a person between ages 13 and 15 and the perpetrator is more than two years older; (2) a mentally incompetent person; (3) a physically helpless person; (4) a minor under his supervision or guardianship; (5) his psychotherapy patient or former patient during sessions, under the guise of therapy, or while the patient is dependent upon him; (6) a person in custody or detained in a hospital and under the offender's authority; (7) a school student and the offender works at the school or for the school board; (8) a minor that he coaches or otherwise instructs; (9) a minor and the offender is a person in a position of power; or (10) someone the offender tricks into believing that he is a health professional and the sexual intercourse is medical treatment ( 53a-71).

Third-Degree Sexual Assault

A person commits this crime when he (1) uses or threaten to use force against a victim or third person to compel the victim to submit to sexual contact and the threat causes the person to reasonably fear physical injury to himself or the third person or (2) has sexual intercourse with a close relative ( 53a-72a).

Third-Degree Sexual Assault with a Firearm

A person commits this crime when he commits third-degree sexual assault by use or threatened use of a firearm ( 53a-72b).

Fourth-Degree Sexual Assault

A person commits this crime when he has sexual contact with (1) someone who is under age 15, mentally incompetent, physically helpless, under age 18 and under his care or supervision, or in custody or detained in a hospital and under his authority or supervision; (2) another person without consent; (3) an animal or deceased person; (4) his psychotherapy patient or former patient during sessions, under the guise of therapy or while the patient is dependent upon him; (5) a school student and the offender works at the school or for the school board; (6) a minor that he coaches or otherwise instructs; (7) a minor and the offender is a person in a position of power; or (8) someone the offender tricks into believing that he is a health professional and the sexual intercourse is medical treatment ( 53a-73a).

SEXUAL ASSAULT PROSECUTIONS

There were 1,302 sexual offense prosecutions in FY 04-05, according to Judicial Department statistician Gregory Pac. Table 1 shows the number of cases prosecuted and their disposition.

Table 1: Sexual Offense Prosecutions

Statutes

Total Cases

Dismissed

Nolled*

Not Guilty

Guilty

First-degree sexual assault

80

15

53

1

11

Aggravated first-degree sexual assault

294

25

161

16

92

Sexual Assault in a spousal or cohabitating relationship

28

2

19

2

5

Second-degree sexual assault

309

3

151

12

143

Third-degree sexual assault

133

16

66

5

46

Third-degree sexual assault with a firearm

1

0

1

0

0

Fourth-degree sexual assault

457

94

196

8

159

*Not prosecuted

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