• A Brief Look at VPSOs and Violence against Women Cases

      UAA Justice Center (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 2011-11)
      This study examined sexual assault and sexual abuse of a minor cases that were reported to Alaska State Troopers in 2003 and 2004, and assault cases involving domestic violence that were reported to Alaska State Troopers in 2004. All analyses were restricted to cases that included only one victim and only one adult suspect. From Alaska Department of Law records, we examined whether cases were referred for prosecution, whether cases were accepted for prosecution, and whether cases resulted in a conviction. We also examined if these legal resolutions were different when the first responder was a local paraprofessional police officer (i.e., a Village Public Safety Officer, a Village Police Officer, or a Tribal Police Officer). • Overall, local paraprofessional police significantly increased the probability of referral for sexual assault cases, had no effect on the probability of referral for sexual abuse of a minor cases, and decreased the probability of referral for assault cases involving domestic violence. (Cases are referred for prosecution by the Alaska State Troopers to the Alaska Department of Law.) • For all three offenses (sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor, and assault involving domestic violence), local paraprofessional police significantly increased the probability that cases would be accepted for prosecution. • Local paraprofessional police did not impact the probability of conviction in sexual assault cases, but significantly increased the probability of conviction in sexual abuse of minor cases and in assault cases involving domestic violence. Cases that resulted in a conviction may have been plea bargained to reduced charges.
    • Case Attrition of Sexual Violence Offenses: Empirical Findings

      Wood, Darryl S.; Rosay, André B. (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 2009-02)
      This report examined the legal resolutions for 1,184 contact sexual violence cases reported to Alaska State Troopers in 2003 and 2004, and excluded results from other law enforcement agencies. We determined whether cases were founded with an identifiable suspect, were referred to the Alaska Department of Law for prosecution, were accepted for prosecution, and if the case resulted in a conviction. We only examined whether any conviction on any charge was obtained. In some cases, the conviction may be for a non-sexual offense. * Seventy-five percent of cases were founded with at least one identifiable suspect, 51% of founded cases were referred to the Alaska Department of Law for prosecution, 60% of referred cases were accepted for prosecution, and 80% of accepted cases resulted in a conviction on at least one charge. The greatest point of attrition was from the founding to the referral decision. * For the most part, cases of Alaska Native victims were as likely, or even more likely, to be processed by the criminal justice system relative to the cases of non-Native victims. * Cases of sexual violence in the most rural portions of Alaska had an equal or greater chance of being subject to legal sanction when compared with cases from Alaska's less rural areas, and were as likely or more likely to receive full enforcement and prosecution. Unfortunately, the percentage of founded cases that resulted in a conviction never exceeded 30%.
    • Disposition of Sexual Assault Cases

      UAA Justice Center (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 2009-03)
      This article summarizes findings on cases involving sexual offenses from the Alaska Judicial Council study Alaska Felony Process: 1999 (February 2004). (The full Judicial Council report is available online at http://www.ajc.state.ak.us/reports/Fel99FullReport.pdf.) The study examined the original single most serious charge and determined its final disposition. Twelve percent of felony cases included a sexual offense as the original single most serious charge. Charges for sexual abuse of a minor were more likely to be convicted as sexual offenses than sexual assault charges (and were less likely to be convicted as misdemeanors). * The most frequent original single most serious charges included sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree (Class B felony), sexual assault in the second degree (Class B felony), sexual assault in the first degree (Unclassified felony), and sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree (Unclassified felony). * Eighty-one percent of charges for sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree were convicted as sexual offense charges. Forty-one percent were convicted as sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree. Thirteen percent were convicted as misdemeanors. * Fifty-five percent of charges for sexual assault in the second degree were convicted as sexual offense charges. Seventeen percent were convicted as sexual assault in the second degree. Thirty-four percent were convicted as misdemeanors. * Fifty percent of charges for sexual assault in the first degree were convicted as sexual offense charges. Nine percent were convicted as sexual assault in the first degree. Twenty-two percent were convicted as misdemeanors. * Eighty-four percent of charges for sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree were convicted as sexual offense charges. Twenty-one percent were convicted as sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree. Five percent were convicted as misdemeanors.