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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Number of 'unfounded' rape cases surprises Mo. police

The Southeast Missourian spent 10 months investigating rape cases that police determined had never happened or were "unfounded." The National Sexual Violence Resource Center found that 3 to 8 percent of rape reports turn out to be unfounded. Missouri is on the high end at 8 percent. "Police departments in larger Missouri cities like Springfield and St. Louis reflected much lower numbers of unfounded rape cases than Cape Girardeau," the Southeast Missourian found. In Cape Girardeau, 51 percent of the 53 reported rape cases from 2006-2008 were unfounded.
Fifty-three women have reported rapes in the last three years to Cape Girardeau police.

Police investigators determined that just over half of those rapes were "unfounded" or that they never occurred. That number is six times higher than what is reported across the state, according to the highway patrol.

Rape is one of the most difficult crimes to investigate. The evidence often boils down to one person's word against another's, making rapes difficult to prove in court.

More here.

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