Rachel Lovell

Research Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University

Areas of Expertise

  • Gender-based violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Human sex trafficking
  • Intimate partner violence

Key Findings

  • John schools, government programs taught by experts to prevent men arrested for soliciting sex from reoffending, do not reduce recidivism to sex crimes. MORE
  • The San Francisco First Offender Prostitution Program study was not methodologically sound enough to assert that john schools are successful. MORE
  • Findings from a sexual assault kit initiative indicate that sexual offenders often vary their sexual offending patterns (or modus operandi) dramatically across sexual offenses. MORE
  • Findings from previously untested sexual assault kits that were initially not successfully adjudicated indicate that the criminal justice system often places significant bureaucratic burden on victims to identify who sexually assaulted them and to remain engaged in an often harmful process and system. MORE
  • Findings from a sexual assault kit initiative indicate three types of sexual offenders and that “undetected” sexual offenders often have extensive criminal histories, very frequently continued to sexually offend, and, more often than not, have criminal histories that do not include a prior arrest(s) for rape. MORE


Rachel Lovell, Assistant Professor of Criminology at Cleveland State University (Cleveland, Ohio), is an expert in gender-based violence and victimization, particularly sexual assault, sexual assault kits, sex trafficking, and intimate partner violence.

Lovell is currently directing large action research projects on untested sexual assault kits in Cuyahoga County, Ohio (in collaboration with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office) and Akron, Ohio (in collaboration with the Akron Police Department), with funding provided by the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. Dr. Lovell is also the Principal Investigator on a National Institute of Justice grant to employ machine learning technology to analyze the narratives of thousands of sexual assault police reports for “signaling” language regarding a victim’s credibility. Prior to arriving at Cleveland State, Dr. Lovell was a Research Assistant Professor in the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education at Case Western Reserve University.

She has been published in academic journals such as the Journal of Forensic Science, Journal of Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice and Behavior, and Victims & Offenders.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlovell100