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New data shows less than 11% of sexual assaults in San Diego result in arrests

Data obtained by CBS 8 show from 2017 through June 2022 only 315 arrests made out of 3,038 reported sexual assaults city wide.

SAN DIEGO — Slightly more than 10% of all sexual assaults reported in San Diego over the past five years resulted in arrests, according to data obtained by CBS 8.

The data, which include rape, sexual battery, and drugging of victims, shows the difficulties that police have in investigating sex assaults and rapes that are reported. Meanwhile, national statistics are only a small number of total sexual assaults. 

The numbers

Data from the city of San Diego shows that San Diego Police received 2,691 reports of sexual assaults from 2018 through June of this year. Of the reported sexual assaults only 10.7%, or 290 cases, resulted in arrests.

According to the data, 2019 saw the highest number of reports with 690. That year police made 83 arrests. The number of reports decreases during COVID to 570 reported assaults in 2020 while just over 10% resulted in arrests.

The number of sex assaults reported to police jumped back up to 646 last year but the percentage of arrests remained the same at just under 10%.

Attorney Jessica Pride specializes in sexual assault and battery cases. She is also an advocate for victims of sexual abuse. 

Pride tells CBS 8 San Diego's arrest rate is higher than other cities.

"Depending on where you are around the country the number is usually closer to 5%," Pride said.

Pride said sexual assault cases can be difficult to prosecute.

"It's really hard for the district attorney's office to bring criminal action against an alleged perpetrator they really need to make sure they have enough evidence," Pride said.

New online portal for survivors

Meanwhile, in an effort to help victims of rape, San Diego Police announced a new online portal where survivors can track the status of their rape kits.

“The San Diego Police Department is committed to helping sexual assault survivors in knowing exactly where their kit is in the process,” Police Chief David Nisleit said. “This portal will be a great tool toward helping survivors stay informed every step of the way."

SDPD announced the launch of its portal Monday. The portal is open for anyone who had a sexual assault exam after July 1 of this year. 

"Gives survivors access to knowledge," said Jessica Pride, a local sexual assault attorney. 

Along with the new portal, she said rape kits must now be processed within 120 days. This new timeframe is a huge improvement. In the past she's had clients wait more than a year for results.

"To know where their case is at and in what stage of the process their rape kit is. They know how much closer they are to getting justice," she said.

WATCH RELATED: 'It's frightening' | Sexual assault survivor questions SDSU's actions after teen says she was raped (Aug. 2022).


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