The number of child sex exploitation suspects referred to U.S. Attorneys for prosecution jumped from 774 in 1994 to 3,361 in 2006, reports the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. However, U.S. Attorneys declined to prosecute 39 percent of the referred suspects last year, the report says. Weak evidence was the most often cited reason for cases being dropped. The report says that child pornography made up 69 percent of sex offenses referred to U.S. Attorneys last year.
In a separate report, the independent Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse says that federal child pornography prosections were down by half between August 2006 and August 2007, and down by 20 percent from five years ago. The declines folloowed a period of rapid growth for child porn cases that began after President Bush took office. The clearinghouse’s data can be seen at http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/bulletins.