Sexual offenses unfortunately make up a huge number of offenses committed around the world. Whether the defendant has been wrongfully or rightfully accused of committing a sexual offense, being a sexual predator is a serious crime that can result in a range of years in jail.
In the complicated world of sexual relations and romantic relationships, the line between a sexual predator and a downright creep can often get blurred. To put it simply, if no consent was given by the parties involved in a sexual setting, then a sexual offense has been committed.
So, if you’re wondering what defines a sexual predator and whether a sexual offender is the same as a sexual predator, you’ve come to the right place. Here is everything you need to know about what a sexual predator is.
What Is A Sexual Predator?
The basic definition of a sexual predator is somebody who has committed one or more sexual and sexually violent offenses, and is most likely to commit such offenses again. However, each state has its own variation of this definition, meaning that people are or are not legally labeled sexual predators or sexual offenders according to the state’s laws.
The main reason why each state has their own rules about what defines a sexual predator is due to the varying degrees of violence and predation in the defendant’s crimes. Each crime is unique and different to another, such as varying amounts of evidence, the number of victims, and the damage caused.
As the repercussions of existing in society as a sexual predator are (rightfully) severe, it can often take months or years of legal procedures to label someone as a sexual predator.
For someone to be a sexual predator, the label is officially given by the ruling of court. The reason for this is as a warning to the public in the local area, because a sexual predator is known to likely commit such atrocities again in the future.
The law typically requires for the public to know about sexual predators on the register in their area. However, this law doesn’t allow for harassment of the predator. Instead, it simply works to let the local public know about a dangerous individual.
Interestingly, the term “sexual predator” is frequently used in societies even when an individual is yet to be defined as a sexual predator by the ruling of a court. Rapists and pedophiles (anybody who has committed a violent sexual crime without consent) are called sexual predators sometimes long before it is proven in an attempt to ridicule the individual and protect the local community.
Difference Between A Sexual Predator And Sexual Offender
So, here’s where it gets a bit more complicated. While a sexual predator is someone who has been legally given the title as a result of their past (and potential future) crimes, a sexual offender has a broader definition.
Sexual offenders commit the same crime as sexual predators, wherein the individual forcefully has sexual relations with another without consent or violently. To put it simply, a sexual offender is someone who is found guilty of committing one crime, while a sexual predator is someone who is found guilty of committing multiple crimes or suspected to continue committing the crimes.
A sexual offender is a label given by the ruling of a court and is typically a lenient sentence. This lenient sentence means that a sexual offender can eventually ask for their name to be taken off the register is given a pardon. A sexual offender will then become a normal member of society without the official label.
On the other hand, a sexual offender will then become a sexual predator when they are found guilty of committing multiple crimes. As a result of this, sexual predators are considered far more dangerous than sexual offenders.
Why Are Sexual Predators Called Predators?
The reason why sexual predators are called “predators” is because of animal predators in the wild. A predator such as a lion is known to hunt its prey in a calculative and evil way, which isn’t unlike a sexual predator. The term “predator” also alludes to the prospect of the individual committing such crimes again.
How Long Do Sexual Predators Get In Jail?
Unfortunately, there is no clear sentence for a sexual predator. The number of years in jail will depend on the state’s individual laws on sexual violence and the nature of the crime. However, in some cases, even the nature of the crime won’t reflect in the years spent in prison.
For a first-time sexual offender, the individual is likely to spend no more than 3 years in jail. After this, they are typically sent back to reality on parole, where they can then ask to be removed from the register if they don’t commit any future crimes.
For a sexual predator such as a serial rapist, the average sentence of statutory rape is typically 30 years. This figure is likely to increase depending on the number of crimes committed. Once the predator has been released, they will spend a certain number of years on parole and will typically spend the rest of their lives on the register.
What Makes A Person A Sexual Predator?
As there is no single crime to define a sexual predator, there are several incidents where someone can be officially called a sexual predator. Anybody who has committed a non-consensual sexual act can be called a sexual offender or predator. This includes:
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual assault
- Child molesting
However, a sexual predator can also refer to someone who uses sex as a form of dominance and power. Anyone, regardless of sex or sexual preferences, can be a sexual predator if they exploit more than one individual in a sexual manner.
Red flags for potential sexual assault such as constant harassment and domestic violence can lead to someone being a sexual predator. As a result of this, it is essential to look out for the warning signs – though they vary with each defendant and victim.
Overstepping boundaries, creating a relationship of codependency, exhibiting controlling and manipulative behavior, and not understanding what consent means can all be indicators of a sexual offender or predator.
Consent isn’t always when someone distinctly says “yes”. Of course, the legal definition of consent is slightly harsher, but the reality is that anyone has the right to not give consent.
Non-consensual sex can include someone changing their mind, someone who is too young to understand consent, someone who is inebriated or unconscious, or someone who is giving other words and physical signs to say no.