Sentencing disparities

Some excerpts from an article from Colorado that looks at sentencing disparities between male and female sex offenders in child sexual assault cases.  More and more of these types of articles are appearing and that is a good thing:

Women in Colorado convicted of sexually assaulting a child in their care are far less likely to go to prison than men sentenced for the same crime.

A Denver Post analysis of sentencing data provided by the Colorado Judicial Branch shows that of the 2,128 men convicted of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust from 2006 through 2010, more than 50 percent were sent to prison.

Of the 79 women convicted of the same felony offense, 38 percent went to prison. A little more than 39 percent of female defendants in that same period — 31 — were put on intensive supervised probation. Less than 35 percent of men were given the same sentence.

Experts who have studied the issue say those statistics are mirrored nationwide and show a clear disparity between how male and female teachers, coaches and babysitters are treated when they are convicted of sexually abusing a child.

Abuse is abuse, harm is harm regardless of the gender of the offender or the victim.

Reidlinger also says that many cases of woman-on- boy crimes are not reported at all, due in part to the media.

“Media outlets rarely use language to convey this type of sexual abuse as a traumatic crime,” Reidlinger said. “While reports about male offenders quite often include words like ‘predator’ or ‘monster,’ reports of female crimes refer to the perpetrators as ‘bombshells’ or the conduct as a ‘romp.’ “

The media often, I think, prefers to indulge in sensationalism and what will sell.  Female sex offenders many times get a pass in the media because of this and hopefully more places like the Denver Post will start to move away from this.


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