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The common usage of the term 'sexual predator' is normally to refer to an individual who preys upon people, often those they (or society) percieve to be vulnerable, with intent to perpetrate a sex crime/act of sexual misconduct. The emphasis is on the fact that there has been a victim who has been taken advantage of/preyed upon in a sexual manner by the person who has been called a 'sexual predator'. Whether the prey is victim to a criminal offense is not the matter at hand, it's the role of the predatory party in an act of sexual exploitation against another individual that defines him/her as a 'sexual predator'.

Often used in tabloids for the purposes of sensationalism it is not a constructive or helpful term and oversimplifies the plights and problems of those centered in such stories. It's lack of value commonly leads it to being used in jest.

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