Number of sex crimes reported so far in November far exceeds monthly average; no arrests made

The number of sex crimes reported before November’s close has far exceeded the monthly average reported for all of 2015.

So far, nobody has been arrested for any of November’s reported sex crimes, some of which police said involved minors.

As of Nov. 22, a total of 17 sex crimes were reported for the month. Police have declined to comment on the reported crimes, in part due to their sensitive nature.

Technically, 19 sex crimes were reported as of Nov. 22. However, investigators learned no crime took place for one report while the other took place outside of LPD’s jurisdiction.

Lawrence Police Officer Drew Fennelly said the report was forwarded to the proper law enforcement agency.

Data collected by the department and submitted to the Overland Park Police Department’s annual Benchmark Cities Survey show the average number of sex crimes reported per month over the past five years.

For each year the reported rapes and other sex offenses were calculated over the 12-month period to find the following averages.

• 2015 – 12 sex crimes reported per month.

• 2014 – 12 sex crimes reported per month.

• 2013 – 10 sex crimes reported per month.

• 2012 – 11 sex crimes reported per month.

• 2011 – Nine sex crimes reported per month.

Alongside the increasing monthly average of reported sex crimes over the past five years, the number of sex crimes reported over past months has also increased.

Over the past four months, the number of sex crimes reported has fluctuated, according to Lawrence Police Department activity logs. However, until November, the number of reported crimes hasn’t risen above the 2015 average.

The number of sex crimes reported over the past four months are as follows:

• October – 12

• September – 10

• August – 6

• July – 12

Data on sex crimes reported to LPD is not available before July because the department did not send the Journal-World its activity logs before that month. Benchmark Cities Survey data, which was also used for this article, is only available after a given year is over and the information is collected, submitted to the survey for review and eventually published.

In mid-November the Journal-World reached out to the Lawrence Police Department for comment.

When asked for additional details on the reported sex crimes, whether the reports involved the same suspect or whether the high number of reports in November was concerning, Lawrence Police Sgt. Amy Rhoads said the department would need between seven to 10 business days to analyze their numbers and form a response. At the soonest, that answer would come after Thanksgiving. Three additional sex crimes have been reported since then.

As of Tuesday, no recent arrests in the Douglas County Jail booking logs bear an incident number matching any of the sex crimes reported in November.