This study aims to present a qualitative, empirically based typology of offenders who use online communications to commit sex crimes against minors, including offenders who met victims online and those who knew them in advance. Seventy-five reports made by law enforcement officers were analyzed using a qualitative software program, during which a typology defining 4 types of offenders was identified: the expert, the cynical, the affection-focused, and the sex-focused. Each type of offender was characterized by patterns of online communication, offline and online identity, relationship dynamics with the victim, and level of sex crime expertise. The typology reveals the heterogeneous nature of sex offenders who use online communications. This diversity must be addressed to provide satisfactory interventions for both victims and offenders.
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- Internet crimes
- sexual abuse