Who Becomes A Rapist?

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – In the south Dallas community targeted by a serial rapist,  relief is giving way to questions.  How does a community watch volunteer become a suspected sexual predator?

“It’s about sex,” says Dallas psychologist Bill Flynn.  “Rape is about getting sex.”

Flynn is an expert on the mindset of sexual predators.  He says contrary to the commonly held belief that rape is about power, research now says the motivation is much more basic.  Rape, he says, is an expression of violence triggered by lust.

“When I have interviewed my guys and I have asked them why they did it, they all said it was about sex.  They didn’t say anything about need to humiliate somebody…”

According to the Dallas County District Attorney’s office, in the early 1990’s a woman said Van Dralan Dixson sexually assaulted her at gunpoint.  That case never went to court because the accuser was struck by lightning and died just before the trial.  In 1993 Dixon was convicted of aggravated robbery.  He spent ten years in prison.

“People who have limited options– and who have found in the past that violence will get them what they want– they stick with that way of getting what they want.”

According to Dr. Flynn, researchers have found frightening common characteristics to suggest who is likely to rape—and re-offend.  Those risk factors include single parent households, elementary school maladjustment, substance abuse—either personally or in the household– , prior criminal history, and personality disorders.

So, who are the best predictors of who’s headed for trouble?

“Kindergarten teachers– this behavior of not caring about what happens to others and being a bully comes out very early.”


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