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Crime & Justice

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Report Rise In Reported Sexual Assaults Against Minors


The number of sexual assaults reported to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has risen 42% this year compared to this time in 2020, the police department said Wednesday. The increase is largely driven by a rise in cases involving minors.

Sgt. Allison Rooks with CMPD's Sexual Assault Unit said 54 sexual assaults reported in the first six months of this year have involved children 15 and under, compared with 28 at this time last year.

However, Rooks said, police believe many cases went unreported last year as kids stayed home from school and other activities.

"A lot of the offenders for juvenile victims live in the home," Rooks said. "They are the family members or the acquaintances. So that correlated with them being home, and when they went back to school, they were able to report that."

Rooks also said some of the cases reported this year took place in past years or in areas outside of Charlotte.

CMPD has received reports of 98 sexual assaults involving victims over the age of 15 so far this year, compared with 80 at this point in 2020.

Of those, 15 have been cleared by arrest, 10 allegedly took place in past years, and three allegedly took place outside of CMPD's jurisdiction.

Rooks said CMPD makes arrests in about 50% of its sexual assault cases, which is above the national average of 34.5%, according to the National Incident-Based Reporting System.

Rooks gave the update at the police department's weekly news briefing.

Also at Wednesday's news briefing, detective Adrian Johnson said the police department has seen a 66% increase in firearms reported stolen from a vehicle this year.

In the first six months of 2021, he said CMPD has had 554 reported cases of firearms stolen from a vehicle, compared with 334 at this point last year.

"We just want to stress to the community to never leave your firearms in your car, for one, always lock your door, always keep your valuables out of sight, and report any suspicious activity immediately when seen," Johnson said.

Overall, the police department reported a 16% decrease in crime in the first quarter of 2021 at a news conference in April. Property crime went down, including a 33% drop in residential burglaries, while crimes involving guns rose by 7%.

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