ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Alaska led the nation in rapes per capita last year, according to statistics released by the FBI, and a revised definition of the crime means the numbers are grimmer than before.
The FBI in data collected from Alaska law enforcement agencies counted 922 rapes last year, a rate of 125.4 per 100,000 residents. The rate is three times the national average, the Alaska Dispatch News (http://bit.ly/1GSEdj3) reported.
The previous definition of rape included only female victims. The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program now includes all genders. It also reflects the nonconsensual acts of sodomy and sex assaults with objects, said Kevin Donovan, assistant special agent with the Alaska FBI.
Under the old definition, the number of rapes in 2013 would have been 644. The new definition provides the FBI with a more accurate understanding, Donovan said.
"The changes broaden the scope of the previously narrow definitions by capturing data without regard to gender and including offenses in which physical force is not involved," he said. "For example, instances in which offenders use drugs or alcohol or incidents in which offenders and victims are of the same gender are now counted as rape for statistical purposes."
Anchorage reported 408 rapes in 2013 under the new definition. The data did not indicate what the total would have been under the old definition.
Anchorage reported 303 rapes in 2012. The 10-year average for the decade ending in 2012 was about 289. Fairbanks, with a city population of 32,204, reported 34 in 2013.
Kotzebue, a northwest Alaska community of 3,202, recorded 24, according to the FBI, the third highest number in the state. Kotzebue Chief of Police Eric Swisher said he used Alaska Department of Public Safety finalized yearly crime stats and counted 34, down from 43 in 2012.
"As far as why that is, it's many different factors, from predators being in jail to victims being in a better environment," Swisher said.
The FBI crime report recorded 4,708 Alaska violent crimes in 2013. The majority, 3,128, were aggravated assaults.
Law enforcement agencies reported 34 murders and non-negligent manslaughters, 624 robberies, 2,916 burglaries and 21,210 property crimes.
Information from: Alaska Dispatch News, http://www.adn.com