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Sexual Assault Crimes Training for Law Enforcement Module 3: Characteristics and Behaviors of Offenders & Interviewing Suspects.

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Presentation on theme: "Sexual Assault Crimes Training for Law Enforcement Module 3: Characteristics and Behaviors of Offenders & Interviewing Suspects."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sexual Assault Crimes Training for Law Enforcement Module 3: Characteristics and Behaviors of Offenders & Interviewing Suspects

2 ACTIVITY What Do You Already Know? 1

3 What You Will Learn Characteristics of sex offenders Common offender behavior patterns Best practices for interviewing suspects 2

4 3 What is the Profile of a Typical Sex Offender?

5 You Are Looking At Him 4

6 What Do We Know About Offenders? Most go undetected Most are serial Serial offenders are often predatory: they identify, manipulate and exploit vulnerabilities Most choose to assault someone they know 5

7 How Many Offenses are Typical? Multiple offenses Offending behavior starts in adolescence and often spans several decades Have often victimized scores, or even hundreds of individuals 6

8 How Do We Know This? For the detected rapist Researchers gave confidentiality to offenders in exchange for a truthful accounting of offending history In one study, the average number of victims was 7; for another 11 7

9 2002 Lisak & Miller Study This Boston-area study assessed 1,882 men. 120 men disclosed committing completed or attempted rape. Of those 120 men, 76 disclosed committing : 49 sexual assaults 439 rapes & attempted rapes 66 acts of physical abuse of children 277 acts of sexual abuse of children 214 acts of battery Total: 1,045 crimes 8

10 Myth Busters Offenders can be likeable men from all social and economic classes Offenders as a group don’t have mental illnesses Offenders usually know their victims They may not think of their actions as rape They often groom their victims or use other means, such as alcohol, to coerce. 9

11 The Undetected Rapist What are some of your preconceived notions about offenders? 10

12 ACTIVITY What are myths about date rape? 11

13 Who Do Offenders Target? Offenders often look for victims who are: Vulnerable Able to be groomed, such as children Under the influence of alcohol or drugs New to a college campus People from oppressed or marginalized communities, such as people with disabilities or homeless people 12

14 Offender Fact Check 13 Activity ACTIVITY

15 Importance of Suspect’s Words Investigator may be one of first people to hear the suspect deny any sexual contact with victim If they make a statement of denial, be sure to capture their exact words The suspect may resort to a consent defense later 14

16 Steps for Interviewing Suspects Establish rapport and be respectful Introduce the topic of concern Ask for narrative detail and LISTEN Get clarification of details when needed Ask specific, but non-leading, questions Close the interview 15

17 Interviewer as Interested Listener Use open-ended questions Steer suspect to next point in the story Gently encourage further narrative details Use non-verbal encouragement (i.e., head nods, uh-huh, mmmm, pauses, silences) Resist the impulse to interrupt Use a non-threatening manner 16

18 Tone Treat the suspect as valued and competent informant; demonstrate that you respect them Create a sincere, supportive environment Suspect must believe that their experiences and perceptions will be heard and understood, not judged 17

19 An Open Invitation to Talk The following prompts can invite the suspect to share information. Ask about: The setting The initiating event Internal response of the suspect Plan of action of suspect Suspect’s attempt at action Consequences of that action Reactions of suspect 18

20 What to Avoid Don’t begin with an accusatory tone – even if there is strong evidence Don’t give too much information during the early stages of interview Don’t use leading questions Don’t interrupt - let them set the pace 19

21 Supportive Prompting “The victim says _______. Tell me what you know about this.” “Help me understand why the victim has said this.” “Tell me about the part where ________.” “What happened then?” 20

22 Meeting Suspect’s Needs Gets Results Try using open ended questions and don’t interrupt their responses. Let them “tell their side of the story” Let them portray themselves in a positive light, which can lower their defenses Let them perceive their experiences and perceptions will be heard and understood Increasing the suspect’s confidence helps to engage them in the process 21

23 Give the Suspect Time Allow them to answer one question at a time regardless of length of response Use simple language when asking questions Make sure any disclosure of self- incriminating information is voluntary and not coerced 22

24 Ending the Interview Summarize and allow the suspect to ask questions Use respect and keep the door open to more conversations Inform the suspect of future processes If not charging them, thank them for their participation and invite them to contact you with any further information 23

25 ACTIVITY One Sentence Summary 24

26 ACTIVITY What Would You Tell a Colleague? 25

27 Checklists to Review on Your Own What to SAY to a Victim During First Response What to SAY to a Victim During the Follow Up Interview What to GIVE a Victim Forensic Exams – Victims and Suspects Reminders for Report Writing for Sexual Assault Crimes 26

28 Special Thanks Special thanks to David Lisak for his work on offenders which informs this first half of this presentation. For more information, please contact David at: David Lisak, Forensic Consultation and Training Special thanks to Joanne Archambault, End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI). Foundational material in this module is based on concepts and information found in the Online Training Institute developed by EVAWI. For more information, please contact: Joanne Archambault, Executive Director End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) 27

29 Citation Read, J., Powell, M., Kebbell, M. and Milne, Becky (2009). Investigative interviewing of suspected sex offenders: a review of what constitutes best practice. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 11 (4). pp ISSN /ijps This module was produced by Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. (CONNSACS) in collaboration with the Connecticut Police Officers Standards and Training Council (POSTC) and the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) through the support of subgrant No WF-AX-0019 awarded by the state administrating office for the STOP Formula Grant Program. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the state or the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. 28


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