Acquaintance Rape: Applying Crime Scene Analysis to the Prediction of Sexual Recidivism

Sex Abuse. 2016 Oct;28(7):679-702. doi: 10.1177/1079063215569542. Epub 2015 Feb 3.


The aim of the current study was to enhance the assessment and predictive accuracy of risk assessments for sexual offenders by utilizing detailed crime scene analysis (CSA). CSA was conducted on a sample of 247 male acquaintance rapists from Berlin (Germany) using a nonmetric, multidimensional scaling (MDS) Behavioral Thematic Analysis (BTA) approach. The age of the offenders at the time of the index offense ranged from 14 to 64 years (M = 32.3; SD = 11.4). The BTA procedure revealed three behavioral themes of hostility, criminality, and pseudo-intimacy, consistent with previous CSA research on stranger rape. The construct validity of the three themes was demonstrated through correlational analyses with known sexual offending measures and criminal histories. The themes of hostility and pseudo-intimacy were significant predictors of sexual recidivism. In addition, the pseudo-intimacy theme led to a significant increase in the incremental validity of the Static-99 actuarial risk assessment instrument for the prediction of sexual recidivism. The results indicate the potential utility and validity of crime scene behaviors in the applied risk assessment of sexual offenders.

Keywords: Static-99; acquaintance rape; crime scene analysis; risk assessment.

MeSH terms

  • Actuarial Analysis
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Criminals / psychology*
  • Criminals / statistics & numerical data
  • Forensic Psychiatry / methods
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Rape / prevention & control*
  • Rape / psychology*
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Young Adult