Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $786,470)
This study will contribute to the field of research of technology-facilitated crimes against children through the collection and analysis of data from Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces in fourteen states. The inferential analysis of perpetrator, victim and offense data and content analysis of Internet chats to solicit children will serve to inform the mental health, social services, education and legal fields for use in forensic evaluations, treatment planning, criminal investigations, court proceedings and developing public safety strategies for protecting our communities'youth.
The goal of typology development will be accomplished by completing the following objectives:
1. Collection of Internet crimes against children crime data: offender demographics and criminal, psychiatric, education, employment, general medical and relationship histories; victim (victim persona in the case of undercover operations) demographics including age, sex, relationship to offender and education; crime data to include offender behavior (production, dissemination and/or possession of child pornography; online sexual activity; attempt/actual meeting in-person with a minor for a sexual purpose), initial charge(s) and result of adjudication.
2. Inferential statistical analysis of crime data for significant correlations among offender, victim and crime details that support types of offenders relative to types of victims and crime behaviors (child pornography production, dissemination and/or possession, online sexual activity with a minor/officer depicting a minor and attempted/actual in-person sexual offense involving a minor).
3. Collection of Internet chat texts between offenders and child victims or undercover officers portraying minors.
4. Content analysis of chat text to identify patterns correlating with each of the following and employing grounded theory development to produce a typology of offenders who engage in Internet crimes against children:
a. Internet only activity with the victim;
b. Attempt/actual in-person sexual contact with the victim;
c. Production, dissemination and/or production of child pornography;
d. Combinations of the each of the aforementioned.
5. Differentiate persons who travel to meet children for sexual purposes (known as travelers) from the non-travelers has immediate utility, especially when based on information derived from the actual chats themselves.