Sentencing disparities in child-sex-assault cases point to double standard
Women in Colorado convicted of sexually assaulting a child in their care are far less likely to go to prison than men sentenced for the same crime.
A Denver Post analysis of sentencing data provided by the Colorado Judicial Branch shows that of the 2,128 men convicted of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust from 2006 through 2010, more than 50 percent were sent to prison.
Of the 79 women convicted of the same felony offense, 38 percent went to prison. A little more than 39 percent of female defendants in that same period — 31 — were put on intensive supervised probation. Less than 35 percent of men were given the same sentence.
Experts who have studied the issue say those statistics are mirrored nationwide and show a clear disparity between how male and female teachers, coaches and babysitters are treated when they are convicted of sexually abusing a child.
With women, the victim is often a young or teen male in her charge, and too often the abuse is seen as less traumatic and almost a badge of honor for the boy, said forensic psychologist Katherine Ramsland.
“There is still a double standard out there, and it’s almost a joke