Forcible Sexual Assaults Down in Fairfax County, State

FCPD, Virginia State Police unsure of what caused downward trend.

Though Fairfax County police are combing the streets searching for those involved in a , they report the number of such attacks investigated by the agency have actually gone down in recent years.

Over the past three years, there has been a steady decrease in sexual assaults in Fairfax County as well as the state, according to the agency. In 2011, Fairfax County police investigated 251 forcible sex offenses, down from 320 investigations in 2010.

FCPD spokesman Bud Walker said in 2012,  the department has investigated 154 forcible sex offenses — “at this time last year, we had investigated 160," he said.

The Aug. 19 sexual assault in Merrifield was the second reported in the area since May, when by two men around 1 a.m. in the 2400 block of Gallows Road near the W&OD Trail. The woman was hospitalized after the attack.

Walker said there are no leads in the most recent attack. Police do not know the cause of the decrease, but Corrine Geller, a spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police, said her agency has investigated 50 forcible sexual assaults through June 30 of this year. VSP investigated 211 forcible sexual assaults and assisted other state agencies in 78 other investigations in 2011.

With nine full-time detectives and one lieutenant, Walker said Fairfax County's Sex Crimes Unit has seen the number of cases they investigate decrease. He said the unit has not investigated a forcible sexual assault that ended in death.

Geller said VSP has several violent crimes investigators designated to the seven field offices the agency maintains throughout the Commonwealth. She said some of those investigators have received special training to deal with victims of a sex crime. In today’s technology era, Geller said VSP has also developed a unit to handle online sex-related crimes.

“We also have agents assigned to our High-Tech Crimes Division who trained in investigating sex crimes associated with online cases,” Geller said.

George Smith August 27, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Why aren't there more police monitoring these areas? And why are there no postings in the areas where this happens? You need to help protect women by alerting them. Your alert system is poor at best. Have you gone to the High School's and let those girls know? Come on...step it up in alerting us when these happen.
George Smith August 27, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Really good point!
Andre L. Taylor August 27, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Hi Jack, County police classify these attacks as forcible sexual assault. I kept the wording consistent with how the crime is classified. I didn't make that one up.
April August 28, 2012 at 12:46 AM
People aren't just hurting in Missouri, they're Akin.
April August 28, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Perhaps the classifiers DO believe rape can be consensual.


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