skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 222541 Find in a Library
Title: Repeat Offending, Victim Gender, and Extent of Victim Relationship in Catholic Church Sexual Abusers: Implications for Risk Assessment
Journal: Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health  Volume:35  Issue:5  Dated:May 2008  Pages:600-614
Author(s): Anthony D. Perillo; Cynthia Calkins Mercado; Karen J. Terry
Date Published: May 2008
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study assessed the strength of the following factors association with sex-offender risk assessment among Catholic clerics alleged to have committed child sexual abuse: repeat offending, victim gender, and victim-offender relationship
Abstract: The study found that having victims much younger or older than the typical sexual abuse victim of Catholic clerics, younger cleric age at onset of abuse, having all male victims, the use of threats, substance abuse, and the priest having been himself sexually abused were all related to having abused more than one victim. Having a history of behavior problems provided additional predictive assistance in risk assessments for reoffending. Priests with a history of sexual victimization were more likely to have all male victims, and priests who were younger at the first allegation of sexual abuse, had older victims on average, and had a history of substance abuse were more strongly linked with having all male victims. Having a history of behavior problems was more indicative of having at least one female victim. Priests who had close relationships with victims were more likely to be younger at first allegation of abuse, have young victims on average, have a least one female victim, have a history of victimization themselves, used spiritual manipulation with their victims, and had fewer documented victims. The study obtained data from records on 4,392 Catholic priests with documented evidence of sexual abuse against children. Data obtained from diocese surveys were coded for factors shown in the literature to be related to child sexual abuse. 3 tables and 38 references
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Recidivism; Religion
Index Term(s): Criminology; Victim profiles; Victim-offender relationships
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.