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NCJ Number: 163161 Find in a Library
Title: Influence of Blame and Believability Factors on the Processing of Simple Versus Aggravated Rape Cases
Journal: Criminology  Volume:34  Issue:2  Dated:(May 1996)  Pages:135-162
Author(s): J Horney; C Spohn
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 28
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Two hypotheses concerning the processing of simple and aggravated rape cases were examined using data from Detroit cases in 1989.
Abstract: One hypothesis stated that criminal justice decisionmakers take aggravated rape cases more seriously than simple rape cases and thus that aggravated cases will result in more serious outcomes. The second hypothesis stated that the influence of factors relating to the blame and believability of a victim on case processing is greater in simple than in aggravated rape cases. The analysis considered 662 cases within initial charges of first-degree or third-degree criminal sexual conduct and in which the complainant was female and at least 16 years old. The researchers examined the case files maintained by the sex crimes unit, other police records, and court records. Results indicated that the characteristics of aggravated and simple rape cases are surprisingly similar and that little evidence exists of an interaction between the type of case and victim characteristics. Although a conclusive explanation of these findings is not possible, they are not necessarily inconsistent with earlier research. Research is needed to determine the circumstances under which the type of rape and the victim-offender relationship make a difference. Tables, footnotes, and 32 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Criminal Justice System Response to Victims
Index Term(s): Michigan; Rape; Sexual assault victims; Victim-offender relationships
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