N.C. – (Thursday, June 3, 2021) – It is never an easy discussion when a
child is victimized in a crime. It is more concerning when there is an alarming
spike in sexual assault cases involving children. Over time, CMPD’s Crimes
Against Children Unit detectives had observed small changes in the cases from
year to year but were alarmed when they observed the spike and rise for 2021.
Detectives have experienced a 210% increase in sex assaults involving children
since 2020. With that percent increase, there have been 31 cases reported in
2021, compared to 10 during the same time frame in 2020.
is important to understand these cases are not random sex assaults. Tragically,
the vast majority of these cases involve family members or someone known to
them. CMPD recognizes and monitors the increase in rape cases, specifically
those with victims under 16-years-old assigned to the Crimes Against Children
Unit. During our recent press conference, Detective Jessica Hall discussed the
belief that the spike could be due to a delay in reporting. Delay in reporting
can result from the child remaining with their abuser or being in a situation
where they feel unsafe to tell anyone. Due to the recent pandemic,
COVID-19 removed children from student activities, thus taking them away from
schools and places with a trusted adult. CMPD hopes to see more cases reported
sooner now that children are returning to school and have the resources such as
guidance counselors and trusted adults to report such acts. The press
conference can be viewed in its entirety here.
with every incident, CMPD encourages the public to utilize all resources
available throughout the community and local law enforcement. Anyone with
information about a case involving sexual assaults of children is asked to call
9-1-1 or leave the information anonymously with Crime Stoppers at 704.334.1600.
The investigation into these cases is active and ongoing. As additional
information develops, it will be released by the CMPD’s Public Affairs Office.