Disposition of Sexual Assault Cases

Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage. (Winter 2004). "Disposition of Sexual Assault Cases." Alaska Justice Forum 20(4): 8. Statistical analysis presented in the Alaska Judicial Council study Alaska Felony Process: 1999 shows that cases involving sexual offenses were handled even-handedly, with no effects associated with ethnicity in charge reduction, pre-disposition incarceration or sentence. Some disparities did appear in association with case location and with type of attorney.

It is not possible to correlate the figures on reported sexual assaults in Anchorage in 2000-2001 presented in the first article in this issue of the Alaska Justice Forum with figures on felony case processing as examined in the Judicial Council felony study, but the Judicial Council felony case study does contain figures specifically related to cases involving sexual offenses that give an idea of how these cases are handled.

According to the Judicial Council study, a sexual offense constituted the most serious charge in 12 percent of the cases studied. Table 1 shows the dispositions for these cases. The data reveal that disposition charges are often lower, sometimes at the misdemeanor level. A majority of all cases, however, resulted in a conviction on a felony charge—and on a sexual offense charge, a disposition that results in placement on the sexual offender registry.

The statistical analysis presented in the Judicial Council study shows that cases involving sexual offenses were handled even-handedly, with no effects associated with ethnicity in charge reduction, pre-disposition incarceration or sentence. Some disparities did appear in association with case location and with type of attorney.