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Caging the Beast: Formulating Effective Evidentiary Rules to Deal with Sexual Offenders

38 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2008  

Charles H. Rose

Stetson University College of Law


Society views individuals who commit sex crimes in a fundamentally different fashion than other criminals. We believe their actions are driven by a twisted internal desire they cannot control - they have become the monster in the woods, the creature that hides beneath the bed - inherently dangerous beasts. This article lifts the bed covers and looks underneath at the statistical data now available after years of in-depth research into the root causes of sexual offense recidivism. The article posits that the field of recidivism analysis is now sufficiently developed to allow evidence scholars to rely upon recidivism factors identified by statistical meta-analyses when formulating new evidentiary rules. This article considers the current data and then suggests substantive changes to the Federal Rules of Evidence dealing with character evidence and sexual misconduct.

Keywords: sex, crimes, pedophile, recidivism, sexual offenders, evidence, rules, statistics, character, sexual misconduct

Suggested Citation

Rose, Charles H., Caging the Beast: Formulating Effective Evidentiary Rules to Deal with Sexual Offenders. American Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2006. Available at SSRN:

Charles H. Rose (Contact Author)

Stetson University College of Law ( email )

1401 61st Street South
Gulfport, FL 33707
United States


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