Report: Arrests made in less than 13% of Alaska's rape cases
A total of 1,049 rapes were reported in Alaska last year, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, but only 130 arrests were made.
The statistics indicate the rape rate in the state has increased by 16.6% since 2015.
The report also paints a picture of who is arrested for sex crimes. According to the report, most are young men.
Many of the cases are in Alaska's largest city. In 2016, 495 rapes were reported in Anchorage, according to the report -- more than one case every day.
"As disturbing as the numbers are, I'm not alarmed by them," said Anchorage Deputy Police Chief, Sgt. Kenneth McCoy.
Historically, Anchorage has had high rates of sexual assault per capita. But victims' advocacy groups say they're busier than before.
"The requests for service have basically skyrocketed in the last 10 years," said Keeley Olson, Executive Director of Standing Together Against Rape (STAR).
The need for funding to prosecute those crimes has also increased, despite the state's multi-billion dollar budget crunch.
"When you have cuts to our court system and you have cuts to the department of law, and you have fewer DA's working on cases, then it takes longer to screen those and assign those, and take those through the court process," Olson said.
Right now, that process is a matter of years.
For its part, the Anchorage Police Dept, says it's committed to responding to rape -- and points to a special seven-member unit dedicated just to that.
"We're doing everything we can to address these horrible incidents when they occur," said McCoy. "Sex crimes are very challenging and it's a very difficult thing to measure in the community."
But according to the FBI report, of the nearly 500 cases reported each year -- over the last two years -- fewer than 20 percent have been cleared.
What the statistics don't tell us, is that the victims typically know their attacker. What they say is that chances are, someone you know is a victim.
Lawmakers have made some dramatic cuts to the state budget over the last two years, as Alaska faces a multi-billion dollar budget gap. The legislature is headed back to Juneau to address state finances in a special session next month.
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