Sexual violence is defined as any sexual act forced upon a person who did not give his or her consent. Our objective is to investigate the socio-demographic features, clinical correlates, criminal behaviour characteristics, and the level of penal responsibility of sexual offenders who were referred to forensic psychiatric assessment in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is a cross-sectional descriptive study. All written reports made in the year of 2008 by court-appointed psychiatric experts on individuals charged with having committed sexual crimes and referred to the main forensic hospital in the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for assessment were reviewed.
Forty-four expert reports were identified. All alleged offenders were male. Nineteen (43.2%) offenders did not receive any psychiatric diagnostic. Nine offenders (20.4%) were diagnosed with mental retardation. In 16 cases (36.4%), some form of mental or neurological disorder was diagnosed. Thirty-one (70.4%) offenders were considered fully responsible, eight (18.2%) partially responsible, and five (11.4%) not responsible by reason of insanity. The sexual crimes allegedly perpetrated by the offenders were rape (n=14, 32%), attempted rape (n=4, 9%), indecent assault (n=26, 59%), and indecent exposure (n=5, 11.4%). In 10 cases (22.7%), the offender was under alcohol influence at the moment of the crime.
The profile of Brazilian sex offenders subject to forensic psychiatric assessment were male, caucasian, single, working part time, with no mental disorder, who perpetrated indecent assault.
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