Sexual Assault

An example of a sexual assault kit.
Nick de la Canal / WFAE


South Carolina is struggling with a problem that exists nationwide — a backlog of rape kits, which are part of an exam used to collect forensic evidence after a sexual assault. Over time, the kits are often lost, but a bill to create a tracking system has bipartisan support by state legislators who are hopeful it will soon become law.

police tape

A man arrested Monday for a sexual assault in South End over the weekend has been charged in a second sexual assault case in the same area one day earlier, CMPD said Wednesday.

Roy Cooper

GREENSBORO — North Carolina's governor has signed a sexual assault bill which says women can revoke consent during sex.

NC Sexual Assault Reforms Pass Unanimously

Oct 31, 2019
North Carolina General Assembly
Nick de la Canal / WFAE

A wide-ranging package of legislation reforming sexual assault laws passed both chambers of the NC General Assembly unanimously today, with two measures closing decades-old legal loopholes on the definition of rape that set North Carolina apart.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department announced Thursday that it has charged a 68-year-old South Carolina man in connection with a sexual assault cold case from 1991 thanks to DNA evidence.

NC Legislators Close To Cobbling Together Major Sexual Assault Reforms

Oct 24, 2019
The North Carolina legislative building is seen in Raleigh.

Two loopholes in North Carolina’s sexual assault laws could close as legislators hammer out last-minute changes to three bills in a bipartisan conference committee this week.

Eastover Elementary School

This week Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools faced troubling allegations about its past, even as leaders try to focus on school safety for the coming year. A lawsuit says CMS overlooked reports of child abuse against a private after-school operator in 2013. That man is now behind bars after being charged with taking indecent liberties with a 6-year-old student last year.

The North Carolina legislative building is seen in Raleigh.

In North Carolina “no” doesn’t always mean "no.” That’s because of a loophole in state law. The loophole dates back to a 1979 case in Mecklenburg County. And for the past several years a lawmaker from Charlotte has tried to close it — but he’ll have to try again. WFAE’s Sarah Delia wanted to know why a seemingly bipartisan bill sponsored by a Democrat and a Republican, continues to go unheard.  

CMPD vehicle

Charlotte Mecklenburg police are investigating two sexual assaults that occurred early Wednesday morning. 

Mecklenburg Detention Officer Vanquez Petty was fired after being charged with sexual assault.
Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office

A detention officer with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office has been fired after he was charged with second-degree rape. According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Vanquez DeVonte Petty, 31, met the 19-year-old woman the morning of February 28 and exchanged phone numbers.

Rape Kit
Sarah Delia / WFAE

North Carolina got a federal grant to outsource DNA testing for a portion of the close to 15,000 untested rape kits that sit on evidence shelves in local law enforcement agencies. But the attorney general said more state funding is needed to test the rest of these kits.  

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

North Carolina’s Department of Public Safety is now reimbursing hospitals for rape kits as required. That’s the conclusion of an inquiry by the Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women that came after WFAE reported nurses at hospitals said they weren’t being reimbursed for sexual assault exams.

Sexual Assault Kits
Nick de la Canal / WFAE

The North Carolina sexual assault tracking system launches Monday. It allows victims of sexual assaults who get a forensic exam to track where their evidence is and if it’s been tested. Idaho, Arkansas and a few other states have similar systems.  

Sexual Assault Kits
Nick de la Canal / WFAE

WFAE’s She Says podcast found that all sexual assault survivors don’t have equal access to evidence kits. A little more than half of the 121 hospitals registered to the state have programs and kits. But now, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners at some of those hospitals say the state hasn’t been reimbursing them for the services they provide victims for more than a year.  

Thursday night's panel, from left: Charlotte Talks host Mike Collins, She Says podcast host Sarah Delia, CMPD Deputy Chief Katrina Graue, Lt. John Somerindyke of Fayetteville Police Department, and Brave Step director Crystal Emerick.
Daniel Coston / WFAE

The final episode of WFAE's podcast She Says is out this week, wrapping up — for now — the story of a woman seeking justice after a sexual assault three years ago. Panelists at a WFAE forum last night on the topic agreed that survivors have a difficult road. But they say the system is improving.

For more than a year, WFAE’s Sarah Delia has been speaking to a woman we’re calling Linda. Linda was sexually assaulted in Charlotte over three years ago in June of 2015.

When Linda began speaking to Delia, she didn’t have many answers around the progress of her case. But over the course of WFAE’s investigation, there have been major developments. Linda's story and our findings turned into the podcast, She Says.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

On this week's FAQ City, listener Margaret Peeples has lingering questions about a 2016 report in The Charlotte Observer that found between 2000 and 2016, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department had destroyed more than 1,000 sexual assault kits.

Seth Ilys / Wikimedia Commons

A state appeals court has ordered UNC Chapel Hill to make public the names of students and employees it has found responsible for rape or sexual assault through the honor court and other non-criminal internal procedures.

The owner of a Charlotte summer camp has been accused of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl while she attended his camp in the summer of 2017. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have arrested and charged a 29-year-old man in connection with three sexual battery incidents that occurred in the University area Friday night. David Keith Kenney is currently in custody in the Mecklenburg County Jail.