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As experts and specialists in sexual assault, we are often asked — is it true that sex crimes and sexual assault is under reported?
Well, the answer is interesting. While there are multiple studies that sex crimes are, in fact, the most under reported crime, that is only half the story. Because at the same time they are as many (or even more) studies that show that sexual assault is also the most over reported crime, and by a large ma
Let’s start with the Department of Justice. A pretty credible source, right? The DOJ reports (in two separate studies done by the FBI), the following:
- CIUS 1995 Section 2
- CIUS 1997 Section 2
However, the story does not end there. Studies done by academics instead of law enforcement, put the figure of false reports as high as 40 to 50%.
Peter Neufeld and Barry C. Scheck, prominent criminal attorneys and co-founders of the Innocence Project, in their book actual innocence: “Every year since 1989, in about 25 percent of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI where results could be obtained, the primary suspect has been excluded by forensic DNA testing. Specifically, FBI officials report that out of roughly 10,000 sexual assault cases since 1989, about 2,000 tests have been inconclusive, about 2,000 tests have excluded the primary suspect, and about 6,000 have “matched” or included the primary suspect.
- 10.9% (“FALSE/MALICIOUS” CLAIMS) AND 25% (RECORDED BY POLICE AS “NO-CRIME”). See, Harris, J., & Grace, S. (1999). A question of evidence? Investigating and prosecuting rape in the 1990s (Home Office Research Study, No. 196). London, England: Home Office.
- 41% (“FALSE” CLAIMS) 38% (VIEWED BY POLICE AS “POSSIBLY TRUE/POSSIBLY FALSE”). See, Jordan, J. (2004). Beyond belief? Police, rape and women’s credibility. Criminal Justice, 4, 29-59.
Yet even more studies and data can be found:
Obviously one false allegation of sexual assault is too many. Just ask the 3 Duke LAX players what kind of impact false allegations had on their schooling, academics, athletic career, and life. However, there is overwhelming evidence to support the idea that false allegations of sexual assault happen, and they happen far more often than anyone would ever want to believe — particularly police and prosecutors.
DON’T BECOME A STATISTIC. If you are charged or threatened with a sexual assault allegation, call the sex crimes specialists at Satawa Law today. It will be the best call you ever make.