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What is the St. Louis Sex Crimes Unit?

The Sex Crimes Unit is a department of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. It is tasked with reporting on and investigating crimes related to sexual assault. Commonly, the unit deals with reports of drug-related sexual assault, sodomy and rape, though it sometimes works on cases related to other sex crimes.

The Sex Crimes Unit has its own detectives who respond to reports of such crimes. Because the number of detectives working for the unit is limited, district officers may initially respond to victim reports of alleged crimes. Those officers conduct the first interviews with alleged victims and prepare a report that is passed on to the Sex Crimes Unit. They also tell the alleged victim that a Sex Crimes Unit detective is likely to contact them.

In some cases, individuals who want to report an alleged sex crime contact the unit directly. The unit does publish a number for this purpose, but it encourages individuals to call 911 to report matters of immediate concern. Those calls can then be routed to the unit if necessary.

While no one will argue that a Sex Crimes Unit that protects victim interests is a bad thing, the separate units do facilitate a lot of back-and-forth of information. With multiple individuals involved in the reporting and investigating process, communication errors and misunderstandings can occur. In some cases, those errors might lead to the wrong person being accused of a crime.

Being wrongfully accused of a sex crime can have lasting social, career and financial consequences. Meeting accusations and charges with an aggressive and professional defense can be one way to reduce the impact that charges have on your life.

Source: Metropolitan Police Department of St. Louis, "Sex Crimes," accessed July 17, 2015

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