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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148747 Find in a Library
Title: Interrogating Child Molesters
Journal: Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:63  Issue:6  Dated:(June 1994)  Pages:1-4
Author(s): B D McIlwaine
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
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NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
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United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Despite an evolving public awareness during the past decade, sexual molestation of children remains a significantly underreported crime; when abuse allegations do surface, cases are often difficult to investigate and prosecute due to lack of physical evidence.
Abstract: Most police investigations of child molestation and abuse focus on resolving discrepancies between the victim's statement and that of the accused. One way to overcome problems inherent in police investigations is to obtain a confession from the offender. Consideration should also be paid to child molester typologies and to the use of appropriate interrogation techniques. Research conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation divides child molesters into two groups, situational and preferential. Situational child molesters do not have a sexual preference for children; rather, they engage in sex with young people for varied and sometimes complex reasons. Perhaps the most common example of situational child molestation involves the parent or relative who molests a child because of stress or while intoxicated. Preferential child molesters have a definite sexual preference for children, and their sexual fantasies and erotic imagery focus on children. The key to properly interrogating child molesters is to document behavior patterns thoroughly; skillful interviewing and interrogation are also essential. Further, developing themes represents the cornerstone to obtaining confessions from child molesters. The offender should be confronted with all physical and documented proof of the offense, and his or her nonverbal behavior should be observed and evaluated. The polygraph may be a valuable tool in eliciting offender confessions. 2 endnotes
Main Term(s): Police
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Child victims; Confessions; Crimes against children; Criminal investigation; Interview and interrogation; Sex offenders; Sexual assault victims
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