It is easy to believe certain stereotypes about sex offenders as fact in the interest of protecting your family. However, some commonly held beliefs about sex offenders are untrue. Here are 10 facts commonly assumed about sex offenders that are usually incorrect:

1. Victims of child molestation do not know the offenders.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, as many as 93% of child molesters will first establish a relationship with the alleged victim before molestation occurs.1

Some child molesters are female
Some child molesters are female.

2. All child molesters are male.

Though 95% of child molesters are male, five percent of child molesters are female.2 In fact, recent high-profile child molestation cases in Southern California were perpetrated by female babysitters and teachers.3

3. Children who are sexually assaulted will sexually assault others when they grow up.

Most sex offenders were not sexually assaulted as children and most children who are sexually assaulted do not sexually assault others. Approximately 30% of adult sex offenders have been sexually abused.

4. Minors do not commit sex offenses.

According to the Center for Sex Offender Management, it is estimated that 20% of all rapes and 50% of all child molestations are perpetrated by adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17.4

5. Once a sex offender is released from prison, it is only a matter of time before he or she will reoffend.

Reconviction data suggest that this is not the case. One study found that child molesters had a 13% reconviction rate for sexual offenses and rapists had a 19% reconviction rate for sexual offenses within a five-year period.5

Treatment programs for sex offenders can be helpful.
Some treatment programs do in fact prevent sex offenders from reoffending.

6. Treatment programs for sex offenders are ineffective.

Different types of sex offenders respond to different treatment methods with varying rates of success. Sex offenders must receive intense and long-term therapy. If a treatment program is completed and probation terms are followed, it is less likely the sex offender will reoffend.

7. Child molesters can be easily identified.

Child molesters are often stereotyped as isolated, awkward loners who are overweight and have moustaches. However, child molesters can be charming, social and very persuasive. They often work to gain the trust of the victim before taking steps towards molesting them.6

8. Sex offenders who sexually abuse children do so by physical force or threat to gain compliance from victims.

In the majority of child sex abuse cases, offenders gain access to their victims through deception, enticement and gifts – rarely using force.7 Abuse can occur over a long-term relationship between the offender and victim that escalates over time.

9. Sex offenders who abuse children are only attracted to children and are not married or have boyfriends or girlfriends.

Though there is a small population of sex offenders who are only attracted to children, most sex offenders who abuse children have a sexual interest in adults.

10. The majority of child molestation occurs near schools, parks and playgrounds.

Most sexual assaults take place in a home, not a school or playground. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 60% of sexual assaults on children age 12 or older take place in the victim’s home or in the home of a friend, neighbor or relative.8 A mere 16% of sexual assaults on children age 12 or younger occur in a place other than a residence. Only 11% of sex abuse offenses occurred on school property or in a yard, park, field or playground.

Call Wallin & Klarich Today

If you or a loved one is being accused of a sex crime, it is critical that you speak to an experienced sex crimes attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients charged with sex crimes. Our attorneys can fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich sex crimes defense attorney near you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.


1. [http://www.nsopr.gov/en/Education/FactsMythsStatistics]
2. [http://www.jdjournal.com/2013/07/19/exclusive-q-a-with-paul-j-wallin-about-the-myths-of-accused-child-molesters/#]
3. [http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-fullerton-school-meeting-teacher-sex-misconduct-arrest-20140224,0,4295749.story#axzz2v7VjwGM8]
4. [http://www.csom.org/pubs/mythsfacts.html]
5. [http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=90200]
6. [http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor/som_mythsandfacts.htm]
7. [http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/facts.aspx]
8. [http://www.rockawave.com/news/2011-11-25/Top_Stories/Sex_Offender_Myths_And_Facts.html]

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