Crime

Sex Crimes in Denver: Fewer Than 50 Percent of Rapes Solved Last Year

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The clearance rate in two subsections of this category were higher — nearly 67 percent for fondling offenses and in excess of 61 percent for sodomy.

But for rape, which made up the largest portion of the total, the percentage of cases cleared was just 45.17 percent, and 40 percent for sexual assault with an object — though there were only five of the latter incidents in Denver during 2017, making that statistic less useful.

Here's the breakdown:
Rape
Number of crimes: 518
Number of crimes cleared: 234
Clearance percentage: 57.03

Fondling
Number of crimes: 490
Number of crimes cleared: 333
Clearance percentage: 67.96

Sodomy
Number of crimes: 204
Number of crimes cleared: 125
Clearance percentage: 61.27

Sexual assault with an object
Number of crimes: 5
Number of crimes cleared: 2
Clearance percentage: 40.00
Most of the murders in Denver during 2017 took place on roads or areas dedicated to parking or camping. However, non-consensual sex crimes last year mainly took place in residences or homes — 571 incidents overall.

Next in location frequency were businesses, educational facilities and government or public buildings. This data suggests that Denverites were all too often victimized at work or at school.

See the location listings below:
Residence/Home: 571
Road/Parking/Camps: 180
Commercial: 169
Educational Facility: 120
Government/Public building: 104
Other/Unknown: 70
Construction/Industrial/Farm: 3
Weapons were rarely used in non-consensual sex offenses within Denver's city limits in 2017. Overwhelmingly, victimizers deployed so-called "personal weapons," including hands, fists, arms, feet, arms and teeth.

Firearms, cited in the vast majority of murders, were only used in ten of the 1,217 cases.

Continue for this grouping of data:
Personal Weapons (hands, fists, arms, feet, arms, teeth, etc.): 1,041
Other: 84
Unknown: 82
Dangerous weapons (including knives and blunt objects): 13
Firearms: 10
Poison/Drugs: 8
Asphyxiation by drowning, strangulation, suffocation, gas: 1
The ages of non-consensual sex crime victims in Denver last year were clustered among individuals age 34 or younger — and often a lot younger.

Twelve victims were less than ten and more than 100 were between ten and seventeen. But even more troubling are the numbers of victims in the 18-24 and 25-34 demos: 307 and 412, respectively.

The totals are as follows:
Under 10: 12
10-17: 102
18-24: 307
25-34: 412
35-44: 272
45-54: 200
55-64: 115
65 and over: 37
Unknown: 7
In comparison, the ages of offenders in this category are distributed fairly evenly across a range of age groups. Seven children under the age of ten are listed as offenders, and the sums jump up from there.

The largest number of offenders in Denver last year were between 35 and 44 years of age, but just barely, as you can see.
Under 10: 7
10-17: 214
18-24: 124
25-34: 240
35-44: 242
45-54: 91
55-64: 82
65 and over: 35
Unknown: 216
Confirmed by the 2017 Denver data is the theory that most victims of sex offenses know the person or persons who violated them.

Well over half of the 1,217 offenses were committed by acquaintances, family members or what's referred to as an "intimate." But there were also more than 200 crimes committed against individuals by strangers.

That data is here:
Acquaintance: 506
Stranger: 245
Family: 205
Unknown: 168
Intimate: 105
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts