It Happens Every Day: Inside the World of a Sex Crimes D.A.

It Happens Every Day: Inside the World of a Sex Crimes D.A.

by Robin Sax
     
 

According to crime statistics from the Department of Justice, 67 percent of sexual assault victims in 2008 were juveniles and an astonishing 93 percent of these victims knew their attackers. This is not news to veteran prosecutor Robin Sax. When she worked as a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County specializing in sex crimes against children, she

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Overview

According to crime statistics from the Department of Justice, 67 percent of sexual assault victims in 2008 were juveniles and an astonishing 93 percent of these victims knew their attackers. This is not news to veteran prosecutor Robin Sax. When she worked as a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County specializing in sex crimes against children, she personally reviewed at least five new cases every day. In this county alone, there are some sixty prosecutors, all of whom deal with a similar caseload.

What really happens when law enforcement decides to prosecute a child sexual assault case? In this revealing, informative, and disturbing book, Sax shows readers how the real criminal justice system works, in terms you rarely hear about on the news. She candidly assesses what’s right about the system and what needs to be changed. Her hope is that, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of our current judicial system, we’ll all be in a better position to protect our children. Dividing the work into two parts, she begins with "Behind the One-Way Mirror," which deals with the investigation portion of child sexual assault. She defines exactly what constitutes sexual assault and then presents the ingredients of what makes a case "fileable." She also explains why some cases never get filed. In the second part, "Behind the Counsel Table," Sax sheds light on the whole court process. She discusses a range of issues, including mandatory sentencing, plea bargains, unsupportive parents, using children’s testimony to prosecute the perpetrator, DNA evidence, the importance of corroboration, and the weaknesses of the jury system.

This gritty, in-depth discussion from an insider on the front lines of law enforcement’s campaign against child sexual assault makes an important contribution toward protecting society’s most vulnerable citizens from a crime that is reaching near-epidemic proportions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It Happens Every Day is a must have guidebook toward keeping our kids safe and, in the event that something horrible happens, it's an empowering map to understanding how the criminal justice system works - and doesn't work."
—Diane Dimond, crime and justice journalist and columnist

"As a long time child safety advocate I find Robin’s insider perspective of the criminal justice system educational and illustrative. She provides clarity where there was previously ambiguity. It Happens Every Day is a must read for anyone wishing to understand the inner workings of the criminal justice system."
—Marc Klaas, President KlaasKids Foundation

Publishers Weekly
In this informative but uneven examination of sex crimes against children, former L.A. County Dep. DA Sax traces the prosecution of this “social epidemic” from identifying the perpetrator to securing a conviction. The statistics Sax presents are sobering: for instance, 67% of reported sexual assault victims are children. Sax outlines her role as prosecutor and, most importantly, how this role is incorporated into the “team approach,” with information shared among police, prosecutor, medical professionals and the victim's advocate. She also challenges popular beliefs regarding sexual assault, especially parents' fears that the biggest danger comes from strangers: 93% of sexual assaults on children are committed by someone the victim knows. Though her passion for her work is undeniable, Sax is unable to maintain a steady tone, too often straying from astute legal analysis (differentiating the law's view of adult versus child sexual assault, for example) into personal views. But despite the often slipshod organization, the issues Sax raises with the criminal justice system's handling of these cases and the solutions she proposes require attention. (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591027584
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
10/27/2009
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

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