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Charlotte Police: Reported Child Sexual Assault Cases Rising In 2021


Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say there has been a rise in the number of reported sexual assaults on children this year.

There have been 31 reported cases so far this year compared to 10 reported cases for all of 2020, CMPD Detective Jessica Hall said. She says she thinks it’s due to a delay in reporting because children were shut in during the pandemic.

“Now that children are coming back to school,” Hall said, “they have guidance counselors and trusted adults that they can tell. And those people that they are disclosing to are mandated reporters that do report to DSS or, in turn, the police.”

In most cases, the child victim knows the perpetrator, Hall said.

“These are not random strangers committing these acts," she said. "Stranger assaults are very rare and few and far between. These are oftentimes family members and friends, trusted adults that are committing these acts.”

CMPD urges anyone who may suspect that a child is being assaulted to call Crime Stoppers, the Department of Social Services reporting line or 911.

Crime Stoppers: 704-334-1600

Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 980-314-3577 (980-31-HELPS)

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Catherine Welch is Assistant News Director at WFAE. She has led newsrooms at KUNC in Greely, CO, Rhode Island Public Radio in Providence, RI and WHQR in Wilmington, NC.