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Local Police Say New Rape Definition Could Increase Reported Cases

Jan 21, 2015

Starting this year, law enforcement agencies are changing the way they report certain crimes to the FBI. Fm89’s Diana Aguilera explains why this could lead to an increase in reported cases of rape.

The Fresno Police Department, along with other local law enforcement agencies, are now required to use a broader definition of rape when reporting to the FBI.
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The U.S. Department of Justice is now requiring that all law enforcement agencies use a new broader definition of rape when reporting crimes to the FBI. In the past, agencies defined rape as the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.

Lt. Jeff Motoyasu with the Fresno Police Department says the new definition is much broader and isn’t gender specific.  

“They changed the definition of how they’re going to gather information and put everything under one definition of rape. So what that does it includes any foreign object in certain locations of the body so those are now all reportable under rape.”

Motoyasu says this change will be noticed when the FBI’s report comes out in 2016.

“So when you see the final report next year you’re going to see rape and there’s going to be an increase but its including several crimes that have never been reported under rape so that’s the change.”

Even though the new definition went into effect in 2013, local police say this is the first year they’re required to follow these guidelines when they report rape cases to the FBI.