AZ DPS

Sex Offender Facts & Characteristics

General Facts

  • Arizona has approximately 14,500 registered sex offenders.
  • Sex offenders come from all walks of life and from all socio-economic groups. They can be male or female, rich or poor, employed or unemployed, religious or non-religious, educated or uneducated, and from any race.
  • Although some sex offenders are strangers and stalkers, many know the victim as a family member, friend, or neighbor. They win a child's trust and then take advantage of that trust.
  • Potential victims are likely to be children that are poor, neglected, loners, or runaways.
  • Many pedophiles seek out mothers of single parent families for the purpose of victimizing children.
  • Sex offenders often like playgrounds and other places where children congregate.
  • Most sex offenders groom their victims prior to any crime.

Warning Signs

Offenders may position themselves to come into contact with children by:

  • Creating playground environments where victims have access to toys, games, and other things that will later be traded for sex.
  • Enticing with attention, affection, gifts, promises, and providing alcohol and pornography to lower inhibitions.
  • Participating in activities with teens, often excluding other adults, or trying to get teens into situations where no other adults are present.
  • Preying on either a parent/teen desire to excel in a sport. They provide extra assistance and offer special attention.
  • Being the "nice guy" in the neighborhood who is willing to entertain children and take them on outings.
  • Operating businesses that hire teens and looking for excuses requiring them to stay after hours, or visit the offenders home.
  • Seeking employment or volunteering where they will be in contact with children and teens.

Additional Information / Resources