• Assaults in Domestic Violence Incidents Reported to Alaska State Troopers

      Rivera, Marny; Rosay, André B.; Wood, Darryl S.; Postle, Greg; TePas, Katherine (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 2009-02)
      This study examined 1,281 cases with an assault charge involving domestic violence reported to Alaska State Troopers in 2004, and excluded any cases reported to local or municipal departments. * Eighty-two percent of reports were handled by three detachment areas: 32% in C — “ Western Alaska, 29% in D — “ Interior Alaska, and 22% in B — “ Southcentral Alaska. Troopers received 80% of the reports, while 20% were received by Village Police Officers, Village Public Safety Officers, or Tribal Police Officers. Eighty-one percent of the assault charges were in the fourth degree. Eighty-four percent of assaults were reported within 24 hours, and 89% of victims and 81% of suspects were interviewed on the day of the report. * Seventy-six percent of suspects were male and 24% were female. On average, suspects were 33 years old and victims were 32 years old. The majority of assaults in domestic violence incidents (86%) were intra-racial. Fifty-seven percent of suspects and 32% of victims used alcohol. Overall, alcohol was involved in 59% of domestic violence incidents reported to Troopers. * Most assaults in domestic violence incidents (75%) occurred between victims and suspects who were staying or living together. The most common forms of violence (disclosed by victims and documented by officers) included pushing, grabbing, or shoving the victim (in 48% of incidents), punching the victim (in 29%), and slapping or hitting the victim (in 28%). Weapons such as knives or guns were rarely used. The most common injuries included bruising (for 38% of victims), lacerations or bite marks (for 27%), bloody nose or lips (for 10%), and black or swollen eyes (for 10%). Forty-three percent of incidents occurred in the presence of children. * Eighty percent of cases were referred to the Alaska Department of Law for prosecution, 68% were accepted for prosecution, and 54% resulted in a conviction. Overall conviction rates were slightly lower for female suspects, but conviction rates were generally not affected by victim gender or victim-suspect relationship.
    • 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.
    • Forcible Rapes and Sexual Assaults in Anchorage

      Rosay, André B. (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 2009-03)
      This study examined the characteristics of all sexual assaults reported to the Anchorage Police Department from 2000 through 2003. Key descriptive findings are summarized. * Victims tended to be young and female, with Native women victims in over 45% of reported sexual assaults. * In a majority of the assaults — over 62% — the assailant was not a stranger to the victim. The most common non-stranger relationships included friends and acquaintances. * A majority of the assaults occurred indoors, with 45% taking place at the residence of one or both of those involved. * Sixty-five percent of victims had used alcohol prior to the assault and 74% of suspects had also.
    • Revisiting Alaska's Sex Offender Registration and Public Notification Statute

      Periman, Deborah (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 2009-03)
      This article examines the background and judicial interpretation of Alaska's sex offender registration and public notification statute, the new federal requirements for state sex offender registries and public notice under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, and weaknesses in both Alaska's existing system and the enhanced requirements of the new federal legislation. These weaknesses include: * Absence of incentives for offenders to seek therapy or treatment; * Failure to provide for individualized risk assessment that would differentiate between those offenders who pose a negligible or very low risk of re-offending from those who pose a continuing public risk — a failure that causes unwarranted marginalization of low risk offenders and diminishes the overall effectiveness of the public notification system; * Public notice provisions so broad as to substantially impede offenders' reintegration into their families, their community, and the workforce, and potentially chilling family reporting; * Internet posting requirements associated with severe stigmatization and public harassment, and concomitant emotional destabilization and isolation of offenders — factors that may actually increase the risk of recidivism and community harm. * Because the Walsh Act conditions state receipt of Byrne Grant funds on compliance with its enhanced registration and notice requirements, there is little Alaska can do to remedy the above weaknesses and still remain eligible for Byrne funds. However, the article concludes with a recommendation for limited changes to our statute that would minimize, to the extent possible, its adverse effect on offenders' ability to find employment; omit the lowest risk offenders from internet posting requirements; and provide those incentives for treatment permissible under the Walsh Act.
    • Sexual Assault Case Processing: A Descriptive Model of Attrition and Decision Making

      Snodgrass, G. Matthew (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 2009-03)
      This study examined the outcomes of sexual assault cases reported to the Anchorage Police Department between January 2000 and December 2003. The data include 1,052 cases involving one suspect and one victim (85% of all reported sexual assaults). Cases and charges were tracked through the Alaska Department of Law to determine what was referred, accepted, and convicted. * Overall, 18% of cases were referred for prosecution. The most common referred charge was a sexual assault in the first degree. Seventy-nine percent of referred charges were sexual assault charges. * Overall, 12% of cases were accepted for prosecution. The greatest point of attrition was from report to referral. Once referred, 68% of cases were accepted for prosecution. Sixty-eight percent of charges were accepted by the Department of Law as referred. The most common reasons for not accepting a charge as referred were evidentiary reasons. The most common accepted charge was also a sexual assault in the first degree. Seventy-five percent of accepted charges were sexual assault charges. * Overall, 11% of cases resulted in a conviction. Once accepted, 87% of cases resulted in a conviction. Although convictions were common in accepted cases, accepted charges were often dismissed. While 87% of accepted cases resulted in a conviction, 59% of accepted charges were dismissed. Ninety percent of guilty findings were a result of plea bargaining. With plea bargaining, some charges were dismissed but a conviction was still secured. Fifty-six percent of convicted charges were sexual assault charges. The most common convicted charge was for assault, followed by sexual assault in the second degree.
    • Sexual Assaults in Anchorage

      UAA Justice Center (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 2009-03)
      This study examined the characteristics of all sexual assaults reported to the Anchorage Police Department from 2000 through 2003. Key descriptive findings are summarized. * Victims tended to be young and female, with Native women victims in over 45% of reported sexual assaults. * In a majority of the assaults – over 62% – the assailant was not a stranger to the victim. The most common non-stranger relationships included friends and acquaintances. * A majority of the assaults occurred indoors, with 45% taking place at the residence of one or both of those involved. * Sixty-five percent of victims had used alcohol prior to the assault and 74% of suspects had also. * While assaults occurred all over the Municipality of Anchorage, they happened with more frequency in Spenard, Fairview, and Downtown.
    • Sexual Assaults Reported to Alaska State Troopers

      Rosay, André B.; Postle, Greg; Wood, Darryl S.; TePas, Katherine (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 2009-02)
      This study examined 989 cases with a sexual assault or sexual abuse of a minor charge reported to Alaska State Troopers in 2003 and 2004, and excluded any sexual assault cases reported to local or municipal departments. * Forty-eight percent of reports came from C Detachment (Western Alaska - Kodiak to Kotzebue), and 58% were reported from communities off the road system. * In 69% of cases, the identity of at least one suspect was known. While most suspects (87%) were adults, most victims (73%) were juveniles. Sixty-one percent of victims were Alaska Native and 38% were White. Intra-racial victimizations were much more prevalent than inter-racial victimizations. The most common suspect was a friend or acquaintance of the victim, followed by a relative. Forty-three percent of suspects and 27% of victims had used alcohol. * Sexual penetration occurred in 60% of assaults. Weapons were very rarely used. Most assaults occurred inside private residences. Nineteen percent of victims experienced general physical pain and 10% suffered bruising or swelling. Most victimizations were reported quickly to Troopers and Troopers were quick to respond. Ninety-six percent of victims were interviewed, with 48% interviewed on the day of the report and 80% interviewed within one week of the report. * Forty-six per cent of reported cases were referred for prosecution, 60% of referred cases were accepted for prosecution, and 80% of accepted cases resulted in a conviction. Overall, however, only 22% of reported cases resulted in a conviction. In some cases, the conviction may be for a non-sexual offense. The highest level of attrition occurred from report to referral.
    • Stalking in Alaska

      Rosay, André B.; Postle, Greg; TePas, Katherine; Wood, Darryl S. (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 2009-02)
      This study examined 267 cases with a stalking charge reported to Alaska State Troopers from 1994 to 2005, and excluded any cases reported to local or municipal departments. We also examined the legal resolutions for cases that were reported from 1999-2004. * Over 50% of reports occurred in B detachment (Southcentral Alaska) and D detachment (Interior Alaska). Three units (Fairbanks AST Enforcement, Palmer AST Enforcement, and Soldotna AST Enforcement) handled 49% of reports. Thirty-five percent of the charges were for stalking in the first degree and 65% were for stalking in the second degree. * Most suspects (91%) were male and most victims (89%) were female. Most suspects (78%) were White and most victims (86%) were also White. On average, suspects were 36 years old while victims were 33 years old. Twenty percent of suspects had used alcohol, but only 2% of victims had used alcohol. Fifty-four percent of suspects were, or had been, in a romantic relationship with the victim. An additional 35% of suspects were friends or acquaintances of the victim. * The most common forms of stalking included standing outside or visiting the victim's home (in 54% of charges), making unsolicited phone calls to victims (in 51% of charges), following the victim (in 39% of charges), threatening to physically assault the victim (in 36% of charges), harassing the victim's family and friends (in 28% of charges), trying to communicate with the victim in other ways (in 27% of charges), standing outside or visiting the victim's work (in 20% of charges), physically assaulting the victim (in 19% of charges), sending the victim unsolicited mail (in 15% of charges), and vandalizing the victim's home (in 13% of charges). Forty-five percent of behaviors occurred primarily at the victim's home, while 27% occurred primarily in cyberspace. * Seventy-five percent of the cases reported between 1999-2004 were referred for prosecution, 55% were accepted for prosecution, and 40% resulted in a conviction on at least one charge. Cases with suspects who violated protective orders were 20% more likely to be referred for prosecution, were 19% more likely to be accepted, and were 41% more likely to result in a conviction.