Sexual Assault

Eastover Elementary School
Facebook.com/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 in Raleigh.
NICK DE LA CANAL / WFAE

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
Nick de la Canal / WFAE

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.

Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department

CMPD's Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit has charged a 56-year-old Charlotte man with two sexual assaults that happened in the 1990s. The arrest came with the help of new tests on DNA gathered in the cases.

More Than 15,000 Untested Sex Assault Kits In NC

Feb 28, 2018
www.ncdoj.gov

There are more than 15,000 sexual assault evidence collection kits in North Carolina that have yet to be tested, according to the numbers compiled by the Department of Justice and made available by Attorney General Josh Stein’s office and the state crime lab.

Negative Space

WFAE is working on a story about sexual assault in the Charlotte area. And right now, we hope to hear from you. 

sexual assault test kit
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kate Thornton-Maurer

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department this week was awarded an $837,342 federal Justice Department grant to help end a backlog of sexual assault cold cases.

About 600 kits that were processed more than 10 years ago will be re-tested at an accredited lab using new DNA-testing technology. Many date back to the 1990s.

Charlotte Mecklenburg police have charged a Charlotte school teacher with sexually assaulting two children. 

Police Arrest Two Teenage Suspects In Homicide

Jul 21, 2017
Crystal Hogue / WFAE

Updated at 9:39 a.m. July 22, 2017 -

Police have arrested two 15-year-old boys they say were involved in the June 18 robbery and murder of Zachary Finch.  Finch was killed at an apartment building in west Charlotte during what CMPD says was a transaction involving the thrifting app, “Let Go.”

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