The influence of blame and believability factors on the processing of simple versus aggravated rape cases

Julie Horney, Cassia Spohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations


In this study we test two hypotheses concerning the processing of simple and aggravated rape cases. First, we test the hypothesis that aggravated rape cases are taken more seriously than simple rape cases by decision makers in the criminal justice system and, thus, aggravated cases will result in more serious outcomes. Second, we test the hypothesis that the influence of factors relating to the blame and believability of a victim on case processing is greater in simple than in aggravated rape cases. Our results indicate that the characteristics and outcomes of aggravated and simple rape cases are surprisingly similar, and that there is little evidence of an interaction between type of case and victim characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-162
Number of pages28
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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