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Certain sexual assault crimes have a new definition for Wichita Police officers who report the crimes to federal officials.
Some crimes that were once reported as sodomies are now being reported as rapes.
"The new definition now includes all forms of forced sexual penetration to a victim and also includes assaults on male victims as well," said Lt. Randy Reynolds, commander of the Wichita Police Department's sex crimes section commander.
The policy for reporting comes from the U.S. Department of Justice, which keeps statistics on all sorts of crimes. The change is designed to give a clearer picture on sexual assaults in communities around the country.
The change in policy will mean that more crimes will be reported as rapes, which could give the false appearance that the number of rapes is increasing.
"Going off the five-year average on sodomy cases, we expect that this change will affect our numbers of reported rapes by about 50," Reynolds said.
According to statistics in the Wichita Police Department's web page, there was an average of 260.8 reported rapes per year between 2006 and 2010.
The change in reporting criteria will have no affect on the way a case is charged through the district attorney's office.