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Juvenile perpetrators account for over 25% of all sexual offenses, and over one-third of such offenses are against victims under the age of 18. Given empirical connections between adverse childhood experience (ACE) exposure and perpetration of violence, we create victim typologies based on the juveniles’ relationship to their victims among 5539 justice-involved adolescents who have committed violent against-person sexual felonies. Multinomial logistic regression is used to assess which covariates, including individual ACE exposures and cumulative traumatic exposures, are associated with victim typologies. This approach allows for better targeting of violence prevention efforts, as a more nuanced understanding of the increased likelihood to victimize specific victim groups lends to potential differences in treatment provision, beyond simplistic findings regarding ACE exposure increasing offending. Results indicate five classes of victim types, ranging from a low of 6.4%, with primarily strangers as victims, to 31.3%, with predominately acquaintances as victims, and only 12.9% with a diverse array of relationships to victims. Importantly, many demographic and individual risk factors, and specific traumatic exposures were related to victimizing one’s sibling, while cumulative trauma as measured by an ACE score decreased the likelihood of victimizing classmates, while increasing the likelihood of victimizing siblings and other relatives compared to victimizing acquaintances.


This article was originally published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, available at DOI: 10.3390/ijerph182111345

© 2021 by the authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

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