Development of a Sexual Assault Event Typology Based on Event Attributes

Leigh Ann Perry, Thomas J. Dover, Steven L. Lancaster, Nicole E. Allen, Timothy G. Keel, Louis N. Eliopulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The current study utilizes data from a national violent crime database to develop a set of classifications for sexual assault events. It expands upon previous typology literature by focusing on behaviors exhibited during a sexual assault incident rather than offender motive. This is an important distinction as law enforcement personnel need to begin their work of suspect development prior to when the offender is actually identified. The current study uses information about incidents that involve sexual offenders who were not necessarily in mental health treatment programs and/or custody. This approach enables the examination of incidents that have not been investigated in previous typology research. Twelve indicator variables were used to examine 4,476 incidents in which adult males offended against adult females. Seven event groups were identified through latent class analysis. Results indicate that level of violence, offender approach, additional sexual activity, and trauma location were class defining event attributes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1709-1722
Number of pages14
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • latent class analysis
  • police investigations
  • rape
  • sexual assault
  • typology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

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  • Cite this

    Perry, L. A., Dover, T. J., Lancaster, S. L., Allen, N. E., Keel, T. G., & Eliopulos, L. N. (2018). Development of a Sexual Assault Event Typology Based on Event Attributes. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 45(11), 1709-1722.