What does "offense date" in the context of criminal punishment records mean?

I was browsing the web site of the Florida Department of Corrections and, more out of curiosity than because of any specific reason, came across this record of an inmate currently serving his sentence.

This offender was sentenced on January 7, 2003 for a total of eight offenses. The “offense date” column in the record says June 8 for every one of these offenses - but, strangely, in different years! I understand that some of the offenses committed on the same date might actually have been the same act which violated several different statutes and therefore counts as several offenses. But it strikes me as odd that apparently this offender committed his crimes in the years 1991-1995 - but every time on June 8.

Is this just a weird coincidence, or are there rules which say that the “offense date” in the record isn’t actually the date the offense was committed, but might serve some different (statistical?) purpose?

(I concede that it might appear strange to you that I browsed the records without any pressing reason; it’s just that these information are usually not released to the public in Germany because of privacy concerns, and I wanted to see how this is done in America. The inmate whose record I linked to was the first file I clicked on randomly, and I just noticed the thing about the dates.)

What kind of offense was it? Maybe that’s the way he celebrates his wedding anniversary!

“Date of offense” generally means exactly what it sounds like, the date the crime was committed. The only reason I can think of that the date of offense would be listed as the same date on different years for your offender is that it was a child victim and possibly an ongoing offense that covered a pattern of abuse spanning many years. I’ll try to look up more if I get a chance later.

That’s pretty much what it is: L/L, INDEC.ASLT CHILD U/16 [4 counts], SEX BATT/COERCE CHILD BY ADULT [2 counts], SEX BAT BY ADULT/VCTM UNDER 12 [2 counts]. Each count is record as having occurred on the same day in different years.

FWIW, I get an “error: record not found” message when clicking on OP’s link.

Actual verbage:

The session ID (encoded in the link) has probably timed out. I doubt that the offender is “no longer … under the custody of the Department of Corrections” since he had multiple convictions, including two life sentences.

So in reality, this guy probably molested his victim(s) many times, so they just set the “offense dates” to an approximation of the times the counts he’s charged with might have occurred?

Sort of. I’m not sure how it works in Florida, but in Texas, we have to allege the date on which an offense occurred on the charging instrument (indictment for felonies, information for misdemeanors). It’s part of the state’s requirement that the accused be fully informed of the nature of the offense he’s being accused of, so that he can prepare an adequate defense.

Ordinarily, we put the date as, “on or about the 8th day of June, 1994” (or whatever), which covers the bases if you cannot pinpoint the exact date on which the offense occurred. Most likely, the prosecutor in this case had a child victim who couldn’t recall specific dates, but said, “it happened about once every year,” and he approximated as best he could.

I wanted to bounce this theory off of one of our prosecutors before I posted it, he came to the same conclusion. My guess is it’s the same child victim in each case and the date is one that’s significant to the child, like a birthday. Say you’re prosecuting someone who sexually abused a child many, many times over a course of fifteen or so, years to the degree that dates or individual events can’t be remembered clearly: how do you prove any one occurance on or about any one date? Choose a date that’s significant to the child. If the child can remember that it happened every year on their birthdate or every year on Christmas day, you can prosecute the offenses that occurred on those dates.

While the above suggestions are perfectly plausible, I wouldn’t overlook the possibility of transcription error. These things are often hand-entered by bored data entry people, and mistakes get made even with the best will in the world. I can envisage that the differing years are wrong and it all happened on the one day, or the converse.

I rather doubt it was a simple transcription error. There were eight counts, each count on different year, each spaced one year apart, all resulting in a conviction. The sentences were more severe for the offense dated with an earlier year and less severe for the later years , i.e., it was life for sexual battery for a child under twelve ranging down to fifteen years (IIRC) for indecent assault on a child under sixteen. The pattern was quite clear.

Is it a solid alibi to prove that the date of offense is at a time that you had not been there for 15 months, at the date of offense?