The annual number of people prosecuted in federal court for commercial sexual exploitation of children nearly doubled between 2004 and 2013, increasing from 1,405 to 2,776 cases, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reported on Thursday. Suspects referred for the possession of child pornography accounted for 72 percent of suspects in exploitation crimes, followed by those suspected of child sex trafficking (18 percent) and child pornography production (10 percent).
Some 97 percent of arrested suspects were male, 82 percent were white, 79 percent had no previous felony convictions, and 70 percent were unmarried. The suspects had a median age of 39, and 56 percent had no more than a high school education. Nearly all defendants in such cases who were convicted received prison time. That was higher than the percentage of persons sentenced to federal prison in all other major offense categories. For example, 91 percent of people convicted of violent crimes went to prison. Between 2004 and 2013, the mean prison sentence for convicted exploitation defendants nearly doubled, from 70 to 139 months. The report was written by the Urban Institute for BJS.