ALICE VACHSS

attorney, author, consultant & lecturer

"… the single best book about prosecuting sex crimes in America, period."—Nicholas Pileggi



Sex Crimes: Ten Years on the Front Lines Prosecuting Rapists and Confronting Their Collaborators by Alice Vachss

Cover of SEX CRIMES by Alice VachssAs a front-line prosecutor and then as chief of the Special Victims Bureau in the Queens district attorney's office in New York City, Alice Vachss specialized in cases of rape, incest, and child sexual abuse. Now, in Sex Crimes, the woman the press described as one of America's toughest prosecutors grippingly recounts her career and in the process offers a searing indictment of our justice system. Included are close-ups of her most harrowing cases, among them the predatory pedophile who headed a boy's club to get closer to victims; the serial rapist who terrorized the city as "The Stalker": and the violent incest offender who tortured his "property" (his own daughter) for more than a dozen years.

"My first lesson about sex crimes prosecution," Vachss writes, "was that perpetrators were not the only enemy." She shows how the system is weighted against victims as she describes the "rape collaborators"—police officers and judges whose ingrained attitudes aid and comfort criminals, elected officials and attorneys concerned only with their political futures, fickle juries seemingly impervious to compelling evidence, and a legal system skeptical of cries of rape. When she saw incompetence, judicial misconduct, misplaced priorities, and favoritism endangering the Special Victim Bureau's successful operation, Vachss spoke out—only to be fired in a political feud.

Sex Crimes takes us on a nightmare ride through the dark side of the human soul. As Vachss makes frighteningly clear, rehabilitation rarely works with sex offenders, who are too often released to strike again. This impassioned book will shock and enrage readers as well as challenge them to demand change.

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« click here to read an excerpt from Sex Crimes »

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"Alice Vachss has written an extraordinary book. It is the single best book about prosecuting sex crimes in America, period. As a prosecutor, Vachss has tried over one hundred felony rape and child abuse cases and she is not shy about describing a nightmare system where the bad guys are allowed to go free and the victims are victimized again, this time by the police, prosecutors, and courts."
—Nicholas Pileggi, author of Wiseguy (Goodfellas), Casino

"Nobody knows rapists better than Alice Vachss. With this book she has scored a knockout."
—Edna Buchanan, The Washington Post Book World

"An impassioned account of rape victims, the criminals who terrorize them, and the legal system that too often neglects them."
Entertainment Weekly

"A stark, passionate closing argument in Vachss' broader case against the criminal justice system."
The New York Times Book Review