Broader definition of rape accounts for higher Minneapolis statisticsby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The relatively high rate of rape in Minneapolis compared to other major cities is due to a broader definition of assaults, according to police.
In 2011, Minneapolis had the highest rate of rape -- 100 incidents per 100,000 people - of any other major city in the U.S., according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Statistics.
Police spokesman Sgt. Steve McCarty said the Minneapolis Police Department includes criteria for rape that other cities do not, and follows a definition of rape that is broader than the one used by the FBI.
For instance, the Minneapolis Police Department's includes male victims in rape reporting. According to a disclaimer on the FBI's website, sexual attacks on males are considered either an assault or a sex offense, "depending on the circumstances and the extent of any injuries."
McCarty estimates that the city's broader definition of rape inflates its reported totals by 30 percent. The FBI will start using Minneapolis' criteria starting this year, he said.
"We were ahead of the curve when it came to reporting these different types of sexual assault," McCarty said. "We just wanted to be more inclusive in showing what the actual picture was where these other victims of these other sex crimes were not being included."
However, the number of reported rapes in Minneapolis has been increasing over the last few years. In 2012, said there were 426 reported rapes in the city, McCarty said. "According to city statistics, in 2011 there were 422 reported rapes - 386 of them were deemed 'actual offenses,'" he said.