CMPD says reported sex assaults involving children have jumped 93%

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department announced Wednesday morning that they are dealing with an alarming increase in sexual assaults.

Police told Channel 9 that sex assaults are up 93% in cases involving children 15 or younger, saying cases spiked when kids returned to school and other activities.

CMPD officials couldn’t share specifics about how many of those cases were reported after children went back to school in person, but clearly some of them were -- and it raises some troubling questions because many of those cases happened in the home or with family members, so the victims had to live silently with their pain.

The overall statistics show sexual assaults jumped 42% in the first six months of this year, but the numbers among juveniles -- victims 15 years old and younger -- are even more alarming.

Police said some of those children were reporting assaults that may have happened during the past year’s COVID-19 lockdown, or even before then.

“There are a myriad of different reasons that victims our survivors choose to report,” CMPD said. “A survivor can report at any point when it’s the right time. And that’s a personal decision of whether they want to and when the right time is, and we just steer them for advocacy and to investigate the crime.”

>> Veteran crime reporter Mark Becker speaks with an agency that works with those juvenile victims and will have more on this story in the video at the top of this webpage.

(WATCH BELOW: School employee charged with sex crimes)