New rape definition leads to higher number of reports

Updated: 05/24/2014 10:45 PM | Created: 05/24/2014 10:39 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

For years, anti-rape protestors across the nation have marched, rallied and petitioned for police and the public to realize rape comes in many forms. In 2012, the Department of Justice listened and made a change.
Until 2012, the legal definition of rape was “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” The new definition includes unwanted penetration of any part of the body no matter how slight.
As a result, the Albuquerque Police Department has seen an increase in rape reports. From 2009 to 2012 the Department say fairly stable numbers, but in 2013 the total increased by more than 40 percent.

“They have every right to report it and we have every obligation to make sure we follow through with the investigation,” APD Commander Donovan Olvera said.
APD cleared 35 percent of those cases, slightly below the national average.
“Sometimes it's victim lack of cooperation, lack of evidence, lack of DNA evidence, sometimes the individual recant - those are factors that may be included as to why the challenges make it tougher for us,” Olvera said.
APD says despite the new definition, staffing and resources remain roughly the same, but they say even with the extra work, they’re doing their best to not only solve the crimes, but to help victims find justice.
“We want them to know we're standing behind them and we're gonna do everything possible to help them out in their case,” Olvera said.

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