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Sexual Assault Numbers Down

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Crime is up in Bryan by six percent but one of the most violent crimes has drastically decreased.

A 40 percent drop in sexual assault cases sounds dramatic but Assistant Police Chief Freddie Komar says there's more to the numbers.

"If you look over the last six or eight years it's really back to where it's been, the norm," says Komar.

While the reports of sexual assault to Bryan police seem to leveling out, Laury Kasowski says calls to the Rape Crisis Center, which serves the entire county, have actually increased.

Kasowski says services provided to the victims of sexual assault jumped from 3,600 in 2003, to 4,000 in 2004.

"Our services increased so it's hard for me to imagine that there was such a dramatic decrease in the number reporting," says Kasowski.

But amid all the numbers the most troubling is 1 in 10. That's the amount of sexual assaults actually reported. Making statistics in general just a glimpse of actual crime.

"It's very troubling. Let's face it. It's a violent crime and we know we're only getting about 10 percent of the reports," says Komar.

One reason, says Kasowski, is high profile rape trials, like the Kobe Bryant case.

"Because there was such mass media attention on that survivor and everything that happened with it, victims don't want to come forward," says Kasowski.

The rape crisis center encourages the victims of sexual assault to report, but it doesn't have to mean pressing charges.

"By getting a sexual assault kit done, their DNA may help solve past or future instances," says Kasowski.

Seventy-three of last year's cases were cleared.

Komar says it's due in part to reports, calls and help from the community.

"We feel we have a lot of support from our citizens and it goes a long way," says Komar.

A long way to help victims who may otherwise remain silent.